Charting the lives of Queen Victoria's five daughters, this book closely examines a generation of royal women who were dominated by their mother and married off as much for political considerations as for love. Vicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice would come to share many of the social restrictions and familial machinations borne by ...
Charting the lives of Queen Victoria's five daughters, this book closely examines a generation of royal women who were dominated by their mother and married off as much for political considerations as for love. Vicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice would come to share many of the social restrictions and familial machinations borne by nineteenth-century women of far less-exulted class, before finally being passed over entirely with the accession of their brother Bertie to the throne. Principally researched at the houses and palaces of its five subjects in London, Scotland, Berlin, Darmstadt, and Ottawa.
I have not read this book yet. I wanted it for a reference. MJB
Apr 26, 2012
An excellent account of the ways in which the daughters of Queen Victoria were married into the Crowned Heads of Europe prior to the First World War.
Jul 6, 2007
More than cages
It really can't have been much fun being a nineteenth century Royal. But these people in cages can certainly be fun to read about. You can squirm at the stifling ceremonial, groan over the marriages labeled "Trouble" before they start, and wonder why such tragedies as WWI hang on the trivia of royal entanglements. But under all the intrigue and nonsense you find real people with real heartbreaks, ambitions, frustrated intelligences and simple or complicated enjoyments. Each of Victoria's daughters is a person worth thinking about and making vicarious friends with. Their lives must often have been boring but one is not bored in reading about what it was like to be the people they were and to reach out to them a friendly hand and heart. History is people, after all.
Apr 26, 2007
Victoria's Daughters is a well-written, well-documented account of the upbringing, lives, and deaths of the daughters of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A fascinating reading experience, though it frequently left me with the futile desire throttle the famed monarch (and occasionally, the daughters, as well!) A bit like looking through the historical keyhole--a guilty but harmless pleasure , and certainly an eye-opener on Victorian sensibilities, as well as the various forces that led to the tragedies of the Romanov assassinations, and the disturbing circumstances that shaped Kaiser Wilhelm (Victoria's grandson) and ultimately led to World War I.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-10-12 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children?five of them daughters?and 40 grandchildren. In this engaging group biography, Packard (Farewell in Splendor) writes about scores of lives and several generations of this fecund couple's progeny?which is why the book is best devoured in small bites and why the comprehensive list of "Principal Characters" is indispensable. As a family, the V&As make for a story as dramatic as any fictional saga, but Packard also shows real sympathy and affection for these royal individuals, including the vastly complicated Queen Victoria herself. Packard combed the daily correspondence the sovereign required of her eldest daughter, Vicky, as well as letters, journals, memoirs and biographies of the other principals involved. In addition, his loving (or disparaging) descriptions of the five daughters' residences in London, Argyll, Berlin, Darmstadt and Ottowa reflect his eager research. History was no mere backdrop to these lives: Vicky's eldest child, Willy, grew up to become Kaiser Wilhelm II, to her great despair, and Alice's daughter Alexandra married Tsar Nicholas II. Packard's narrative is accessible, unpretentious and solidly written (except for one particularly bad pun on a widow's peak). He manages to treat historical events succinctly while emphasizing the princesses' individual lives and family relationships, their talents in music and art, their patronage of schools and hospitals and their pioneering advocacy of women's education and employment. (Nov.)
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