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Ka‘iulani’s story spans the years when Hawai‘i struggled against foreign domination, the monarchy was overthrown, and Hawai‘i became a U.S. territory. It is a dramatic story, full of interest, beauty, and pathos, both fascinating as the biography of a singularly gifted, beautiful, and wise young woman, and valuable as a chapter in the history of the fiftieth state. Ka‘iulani was a fairy-tale princess, who as a child lived in an enchanted Waikīkī garden of huge banyan trees where peacocks roamed. Her uncle, King David Kalākaua, was overjoyed at her birth, happy to know that his sister, Princess Miriam Likelike, had produced an heir to the throne. She was a dazzled witness to the first formal coronation of a Hawaiian king; a princess who later suffered years of exile and humiliation, who became the shining heroine of a humbled nation, and who died still young and beautiful at the age of twenty-three. Richly illustrated with vintage photographs, Ka‘iulani: Hawai‘i’s Tragic Princess, tells the story of Hawai‘i’s beloved princess while illuminating late nineteenth century Hawaiian history.
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