Victoria and Albert

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Overview

This fascinating biography, full of new and original material from a noted British historian, chronicles the life of Queen Victoria and the passionate love she shared with the German Prince Albert. Victoria's reign embraced the industrialization of Britain, the creation of numerous inventions, and advances in transport undreamed of when she had come to the throne as a girl of barely eighteen years. Above all, the morality and style of living were transformed. Gone were the days of the raffish, improvident ...

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Overview

This fascinating biography, full of new and original material from a noted British historian, chronicles the life of Queen Victoria and the passionate love she shared with the German Prince Albert. Victoria's reign embraced the industrialization of Britain, the creation of numerous inventions, and advances in transport undreamed of when she had come to the throne as a girl of barely eighteen years. Above all, the morality and style of living were transformed. Gone were the days of the raffish, improvident Hanoverian kings whose behavior tended to be emulated by the people. For twenty-one years of Victoria's reign she was married to a German prince who was as determined "to be good" as the queen. Prince Albert was as responsible for the nation's renaissance as the monarch herself. He might have been the butt of the aristocracy, but that in no way diminished his influence. Victoria and Albert had nine children and became the archetype of the nineteenth-century family. But the outside world knew nothing of the passionate and turbulent relationship between the queen and her prince consort. Thunderous rows grew from the most trivial origins and threatened to tear the two apart, but always the sun of reconciliation and love finally broke through the storms.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A delightful and engaging joint biography of Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, from prolific popular historian and British royals watcher Hough (Born Royal: The Lives and Loves of the Young Windsors, 1988, etc.).

When the 20-year-old Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1840, the United Kingdom was the richest and most powerful country in the world. Hough draws chiefly on Victoria's letters and extant journals to give us the story of these young people until Albert's premature death from typhoid in 1861. We read of Victoria's secluded upbringing and limited education, designed to shield her from the decadence and unpopularity of her predecessors on the throne, and of Albert's sense of moral duty and public service, in contrast with his own equally dissolute family. Despite occasional rows and misunderstandings, Victoria was totally devoted to her consort. Albert, at first unpopular in his adopted nation, provided invaluable emotional support to a frequently nervous and insecure Victoria. His greatest triumphs were probably his role in keeping Britain from entering the American Civil War on the side of the South and his promotion of the Great Exhibition, held in London in 1851 to celebrate the Industrial Revolution and promote peace in Europe. The couple had nine children (against popular sentiment, Victoria used chloroform to ease the pains of childbirth), and the queen later blamed their eldest son and heir, the future Edward VII, for his father's death, which followed the shocking news of Edward's first of many sexual misadventures. Hough avoids cheap sensationalism, but his narrative is at times maddeningly matter- of-fact: He offers few interpretive insights and gives the reader no explanations of Victoria's constitutional position and political views (e.g., why her refusal to dismiss certain ladies on her staff resulted in the collapse of the Tory government in 1839).

Nonetheless, a fitting corrective to Victoria's often misunderstood popular image.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312303853
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 897,330
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

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