In November 1970 an article in an obscure British journal made the startling claim that the notorious mass-murderer, Jack the Ripper, had been none other than Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor, Heir Presumptive to the British throne.
Although this bizarre theory was subsequently dismissed, rumours about the long-forgotten figure of Prince Albert Victor - always known as Eddy - began to gather force. With each telling, they became wilder. Out of this welter of conjecture, claim and counter-claim, there emerged one accusation that cannot be dismissed.
This is the story of Prince Eddy's alleged involvement in another Victorian cause celebre - the Cleveland Street brothel case. For the uncovering of this homosexual brothel in 1889 led to an extraordinary cover-up by the British government; a cover-up which is explicable only in the light of Prince Eddy's involvement.
Working from original sources (including the files of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Esher Papers), Theo Aronson has written the first full account of the strange life of Prince Eddy, setting it in perspective against a vivid backcloth of the astonishingly active homosexual underworld during the last decades of Queen Victoria's reign.
He explores Prince Eddy's upbringing, his university and military careers, his curious personality, his alleged "secret marriage", his links with the Jack the Ripper murders, his early death and, above all, the central mystery of his life - his sexual orientation. For it was this that linked the young Prince's name to the Cleveland Street Scandal.
Theo Aronson is the author of over twenty works of royal historical biography, published in eleven languages. Among the widely read are Grandmama of Europe, The King in Love, Napoleon and Josephine and a biography of Princess Margaret. In the course of researching and writing these books he has interviewed major and minor members of Britain's royal family and members of the royal households, as well as various officials, servants, friends and others whose lives are in some way connected with the monarchy.
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