Karl Heidenreich wrote:From what I have heard is the life of Lord Jackie Fisher the one that could be one of notorious scandals and outrage. In what sense Beatty´s life, aside from the Admiral portion of it, is dramatic?
LOL Where do I start?
Son of minor Irish nobility and mad horseman in the fox hunt.
Assigned to Queen Victoria's yacht, where he meets and carries on a youthful dalliance with a Romanian princess.
Leads squadron of British gunboats through the deadly dangerous passage of the Nile cataracts during the Mahdist uprising and leads an exciting river war against the Dervishes along the Upper Nile. Participates in the Battle of Omdurman by flanking and bombarding the Dervish army with his gunboat. After the battle, he tosses a bottle of champagne to a young man on the Nile river bank who turns out to be war correspondent Winston Churchill, who a decade becomes his mentor and champion in the Admiralty.
Later participates in the Boxer Rebellion, where he is wounded and decorated for bravery.
Returns to England and meets the married American socialite Ethel Tree, heiress to the vast Marshall Field department store fortune, richest woman in the world, and emotionally unbalanced nymphomaniac. He woos her away from her husband and they marry, fomenting a major social scandal in English polite society which reaches all the way to Buckingham Palace. He ends up with a family yacht, estates the length and breadth of Great Britain, and his own personal family ocean-going steam yacht.
As the fair-haired chosen boy of the Royal Navy, he is catapulted over the heads of numerous senior officers to become the youngest admiral since Nelson. He refuses the Admiralty's first offer of a command - something completely unheard of, and gets away with it. He is ultimately given command of the first ever Battle Cruiser Squadron. Instead of staying around to oversee the fitting out of HMS LION, Beatty yachts off to Monaco to gamble.
On the eve of the outbreak of WW1, he is with his battlecruiser squadron on a port visit to Kronstadt hosting a gigantic ball aboard ship to entertain the Russian imperial court and the cream of St Petersburg society.
Less than a month after the English entry into the war, he takes his battlecruisers in a madly risky foray into the Heligoland Bight to rescue Tyrwhitt and not only gets away scot-free, but sinks several German light cruisers in the bargain.
Dogger Bank five months later.
The drama of Jutland the following year.
Beatty then succeeds Jellicoe as CiC Grand Fleet and ultimately presides over the dramatic surrender of the High Sea Fleet at the end of the war. This event is punctuated by a dramatic memorable speech by Beatty to the sailors of the fleet.
Interspersed with all that, Beatty discovers that his wife has been screwing every officer she can lay hands on during his absences yet remains faithful to her. He himself carries on an affair with a much younger woman during his service as CiC Grand Fleet.
After the war his old signal officer Ralph Seymour (yes THAT Seymour) asks Beatty's permission to marry Beatty's niece. Beatty refuses and a disconsolate Seymour commits suicide by throwing himself off a seaside cliff.
Beatty becomes First Lord of the Admiralty after the war and becomes embroiled in a huge feud over the Harper Report and comes to dagger points with Jellicoe over his conduct at Jutland. Upon Jellicoe's death, Beatty insists upon acting as a pall-bearer at Jellicoe's state funeral procession. The day of the funeral is cold and rainy; Beatty contracts pneumonia and ultimately dies himself.
Beatty, in his life, counted among his circle of friends and acquaintances almost every notable character of Great Britain from the royal family to Winston Churchill and Jacky Fisher.
Beatty was also a devotee of fortune-tellers and a rabid anti-semite.
Good biography of Beatty - "Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty - The Last Naval Hero: an Intimate Biography" by Stephen Roskill. Just an unbelievable life and one which would make a fabulous movie or TV series (only if done proper in England however!).