Queen Victoria's Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe

Queen Victoria's Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe

by Deborah Cadbury


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A captivating exploration of the role in which Queen Victoria exerted the most international power and influence: as a matchmaking grandmother.

As her reign approached its sixth decade, Queen Victoria's grandchildren numbered over thirty, and to maintain and increase British royal power, she was determined to maneuver them into a series of dynastic marriages with the royal houses of Europe.

Yet for all their apparent obedience, her grandchildren often had plans of their own, fueled by strong wills and romantic hearts. Victoria's matchmaking plans were further complicated by the tumultuous international upheavals of the time: revolution and war were in the air, and kings and queens, princes and princesses were vulnerable targets.

Queen Victoria's Matchmaking travels through the glittering, decadent palaces of Europe from London to Saint Petersburg, weaving in scandals, political machinations and family tensions to enthralling effect. It is at once an intimate portrait of a royal family and an examination of the conflict caused by the marriages the Queen arranged. At the heart of it all is Victoria herself: doting grandmother one moment, determined Queen Empress the next.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541768024
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/16/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 93,130
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Deborah Cadbury is the author of eight acclaimed books, including Chocolate Wars; The Dinosaur Hunters; The Lost King of France; Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, for which her accompanying BBC series received a BAFTA nomination; and Princes at War. As a BBC TV producer and executive producer, she has won numerous international awards, including an Emmy. She lives in London.

Table of Contents

Family Tree viii

Maps x

Part 1 Vain The Ambition Of Kings 1887-1891

Prologue 3

1 'A Good Sensible Wife' 19

2 Vicky and Frederick 39

3 Ella and Sergei 65

4 Alix and Eddy 95

5 Eddy and Hélène 117

6 Eddy and May 143

Part 2 The High Summer Of Royalty 1892-1901

7 George and Missy 179

8 Missy and Ferdinand 201

9 George and May 219

10 Nicholas and Alix 245

11 Ena and Alfonso 271

12 The Fall 299

Acknowledgements 328

Bibliography 331

Abbreviations 336

Notes and Sources 337

Picture Credits 370

Index 372

Photo inserts between pages 94-95 and 244-245

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Queen Victoria's Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a well written book by a scholar, so it requires attention but that is well repaid. Yes, everybody is named Albert, but the Victoria, Alexandra, and a few other names. But by using nicknames, the author does a good job of making clear who is who. So much history is learned in different classes that you do not think of incidents being contemporary, much less in a single family but that becomes clear. It is a remarkable story of a single strong personality controlling not only the politics of her own time, but up to present day.