Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria

( 26 )

Overview

Julia Gelardi’s Born to Rule is the powerful epic story of five royal granddaughters of Queen Victoria, who reigned over the end of their empires, the destruction of their families, and the tumult of the twentieth century

Here are the stories of Alexandra, whose faith in Rasputin and tragic end have become the stuff of legend; Marie, the flamboyant and eccentric queen who battled her way through a life of intrigues and was also the mother of two Balkan queens and of the ...

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Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria

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Overview

Julia Gelardi’s Born to Rule is the powerful epic story of five royal granddaughters of Queen Victoria, who reigned over the end of their empires, the destruction of their families, and the tumult of the twentieth century

Here are the stories of Alexandra, whose faith in Rasputin and tragic end have become the stuff of legend; Marie, the flamboyant and eccentric queen who battled her way through a life of intrigues and was also the mother of two Balkan queens and of the scandalous Carol II of Romania; Victoria Eugenie, Spain’s very English queen who, like Alexandra, introduced hemophilia into her husband’s family—-with devastating consequences for her marriage; Maud, King Edward VII’s daughter, who was independent Norway’s reluctant queen; and Sophie, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s much maligned sister, daughter of an emperor and herself the mother of no less than three kings and a queen, who ended her days in bitter exile.

Using never before published letters, memoirs, diplomatic documents, secondary sources, and interviews with descendents of the subjects, Julia Gelardi’s Born to Rule is an astonishing and memorable work of popular history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Engaging and lively...highly recommended.” —-Library Journal

“Solemn, sometimes frisky, but always captivating.” —-Kirkus Reviews

“A diligent researcher who gets her facts straight and documents them properly with footnotes...Born to Rule has much interest in it and can serve as an introduction to these four queens and an empress.” —-The Washington Times

Library Journal
Of Queen Victoria's numerous descendents, her five granddaughters ruled the royal roosts of many European countries for decades. While much has been written about the tragic, misunderstood Alexandra of Russia, assassinated with her unfortunate family in 1918, and about that groundbreaking free spirit, Marie of Romania, independent scholar Gelardi gives equal due to the other three granddaughters. It is a delight to delve into the lives of Sophie of Greece, Maud of Norway, and Victoria Eugenie of Spain while also revisiting the better-known women. All five granddaughters lived through the Great War, some even participating in it, which brought them a newfound awareness of the common people. In her engaging and lively book, Gelardi makes real the tragedies that befell Alexandra and Sophie, and the more mundane yet exalted lives of the others. Their well-told adventures make the recent escapades of the Windsors pale in comparison. Including a handy genealogical chart, this is highly recommended for public, academic, and libraries specializing in European history.-Gail Benjafield, St. Catharines P.L., Ont. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Laudatory concurrent biographies trace the intertwined lives of a quintet of princesses. For these comely royal cousins, all granddaughters of England's dear, stately Queen Victoria, it was good-at least for a while-to sport coronets and kind hearts throughout Europe at the start of the 20th century. The five princesses ruled as Alexandra of Russia, Marie of Romania, Victoria Eugenie of Spain, Sophie of Greece, and Maud of Norway. For their thrones, the blue-blooded girls were obliged to adopt new homes, new religions, and new languages. With considerable use of private correspondence and related primary sources, independent historian Gelardi deals with more queens than you'll find in a deck of cards. Naturally, there are kings too, and a few knaves: innocent Tsar Nicholas, Grand Duke Ernie, Prince Frank, the German Kaiser, and naughty King Carol. Tsarina Alexandra is mesmerized by Rasputin, then dies with her family at Ekaterinburg in the oft-told story. Unrestrained Marie cavorts with the smart set, the Astors, and a friendly fellow named Klondike Boyle. Queen Victoria Eugenie ("Ena" for short) deals with Generalissimo Franco. Along with marriage arrangements within the extended family, each memorialized with carefully formulated treaties, the story is marked by funerals, abdications, bombings, revolutions, world wars, and one royal palace lacking a lav or running water. The hereditary red thread of hemophilia surfaces from time to time as the narrative roves from Balmoral to the Winter Palace and the traditional role of the nobility fades. There were rewards, too; Gelardi notes the "paroxysms of elation" and "tumultuous greeting" of loyal subjects who were often "convulsed withexcitement" at the sight of their sovereigns. But by the middle of the century, it was all over. The Excellent Adventures of the Five Royal Cousins: sometimes solemn, sometimes frisky, but always captivating. (16 pp. color photos, not seen)Agent: Julia Castiglia/Castiglia Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312324247
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 293,020
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Gelardi was born in Manila, Philippines, and educated in the United States and Canada. An independent historian and author, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Plymouth, Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Dramatis Personae xi
Simplified Genealogical Table xvi
Introduction xix
Part I Sovereigns in the Making: The Formative Years (1869-1901) 1
1 More Mother Than Grandmother 3
2 "Mad. Never Mind." 14
3 "Gangan" 28
4 In Pursuit of Alix 38
5 "Maud Could Not Have Done Better" 60
6 "Too Painful to Bear" 75
Part II Trials and Tribulations (1901-1914) 91
7 Splendid Isolation 93
8 Embattled but Not Defeated 102
9 The Facade Crumbles 114
10 Destiny Beckons 123
11 Baptism of Fire 138
12 Norway's English Queen 145
13 Revolutionary Fever 153
14 "La Reina Hermosa" 162
15 "Mamma, Help Me!" 173
16 Before the Storm 185
Part III On the Throne: Disaster and Triumph (1914-1920) 197
17 Balkan Cauldron 199
18 "Hold My Hand That I May Have Courage" 216
19 Neutral North and South 226
20 Beleaguered and Betrayed 235
21 The Abyss 252
22 Death at Ekaterinburg 260
23 "Mamma Regina" 272
Part IV Denouement (1920-1969) 289
24 Capitulation Again 291
25 "Too Sad" 305
26 "I Would Never Leave England" 314
27 "I Thought I Had Done Well" 331
28 "The God Within Us!" 344
29 "I Bless You with My Last Breath" 354
30 From Exile to "Viva la Reina!" 371
Epilogue 383
Notes 387
Bibliography 427
Index 441
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Read

    'Born to Rule' is a fascinating look at five queens who were also granddaughters of Queen Victoria. Each of the five found themselves trying to learn the language, customs and religion of a thoroughly foreign country with husbands who were virtually strangers. This is a great look at history through the eyes of women who were thrust into extraordinary situations in a time of great wars and greater historical upheavals. Lots of good photos too.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Fantastic book!

    I truly enjoyed this book. Gelardi's research was magnificently portrayed in this book. If you like Victorian Aged history, this is a book for you.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    So interesting

    Really enjoyed the in-depth look into these mothers and daughters from history. Great insight.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    sammaxe@hotmail.com

    this was a very good book containing enteraining info about queen victoria and her family. I loved it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2005

    Well Researched book

    The author really did her research, and it results in a easy to read in-depth look at the lives of five of Queen Victoria's grand-daughters who all went on the become Queens/Tsarina/Princesses of foreign countries. From the haunting story of Tsarina Alexandra and the Romanovs to the scandalous reign of Queen Marie of Romania, the book covers these women from their childhood, through romances and up to their introduction to the countries they habited after their marriages and the trials, tribulations and love they endured. A great historical book about some women that people probably wouldn't have read about until this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    Great book

    Could not put the book down my only negative comment is the book has too many notes. It makes the e version hard to read as the notes are not linked

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2009

    Fantastic Book

    It is a biography, but reads like a novel. Would recommend this to any of my friends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Victoria's Legacy

    Cousins. Crowns. Martyrdom-- at the beginning of the end of the world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2013

    Terrible book, disjointed, all over the place, impossible to fol

    Terrible book, disjointed, all over the place, impossible to follow. Do not waste your money

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    C-O-O-L

    Even if I,ve not read it yet I know I'm going to love it!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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