An Uncommon Woman

Overview

Drawing on a vast amount of original family documents, including more than 7,000 letters between the Empress and the Queen, Pakula offers an absorbing portrait of a brilliant, determined woman. Vicky, as she was known to her family and friends, was trained by her father, Prince Albert, in the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary government. Sent to Germany with the mission of carrying these liberal concepts back to the land of Albert's birth, the seventeen-year-old encountered the rigidities of...
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Overview

Drawing on a vast amount of original family documents, including more than 7,000 letters between the Empress and the Queen, Pakula offers an absorbing portrait of a brilliant, determined woman. Vicky, as she was known to her family and friends, was trained by her father, Prince Albert, in the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary government. Sent to Germany with the mission of carrying these liberal concepts back to the land of Albert's birth, the seventeen-year-old encountered the rigidities of a hidebound Prussian court and the "blood and iron" policies of Otto von Bismarck. Vicky's major ally in spreading enlightened liberalism was her husband, the handsome Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, heir to the Prussian and German thrones. A fine general who did not believe in war, Fritz, as he was known, adored Vicky. But their eldest son, the man who would become Kaiser Wilhelm II, turned against his parents, allying himself with the militarism his ultraconservative grandfather and the anti-British foreign policy of Bismarck. Mounting the throne after the untimely death of his father, the young Kaiser abandoned his mother and went on to wage a ruinous war against her beloved England.

Drawing on a vast amount of research, including more than 5,000 letters between Princess Victoria and her mother Queen Victoria, the author of The Last Romantic tells the heroic and tragic story this eldest daughter of the British monarch, who married for love the handsome and idealistic heir to the Prussian Crown. of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Queen Victoria of England has been the subject of several fine biographies; however, her equally interesting eldest child and favorite daughter, "Vicky," whose tragic fate it was to be the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm, who led the Germans against England in World War I, has not received the level of attention accorded her mother. Pakula's (The Last Romantic, LJ 2/1/85) readable biography, based in large part on Vicky's correspondence with her mother as well as other primary sources, provides an intimate view of a quintessentially "Victorian" mother-daughter relationship and a fascinating perspective on a period and personages more often viewed through the impersonal lens of diplomatic and political history. Pakula has succeeded well in capturing an immensely interesting period and place in history through the story of a woman's life. History buffs will enjoy the period detail; academics will appreciate its different perspective on real personages and events.-Barbara Walden, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis
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The heroic & tragic story of Princess Victoria, eldest daughter of the queen, who married for love the handsome, idealistic heir to the Prussian crown. Caught in the revolution & wars, she was destroyed by Bismarck & the ambition of her son. B&W photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684842165
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 11/1/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 1.46 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Hannah Pakula is the author of The Last Empress, which was a New York Times notable book, The Last Romantic, which was called by Graham Greene the best biography and one of the three best books of the year, and An Uncommon Woman, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist. She lives in New York City.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2000

    An Uncommon Woman

    Out of all of the books I have read concerning royalty, this book has got to be one of the best. The range of this book is fascinating, from personal domestic issues to the political spectrum. It is sad to think that the Empress Frederick, a learned, intelligent, and cultured woman, should be so misaligned in her adopted country, but the author has swiftly disproved the bad reputation she received in Prussia and later Imperial Germany. A magnificent book that will interest the reader to the fullest!

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