Friday, January 18, 2008

Victoria Victorious by Jean Plaidy

No, I could not in my secret heart agree that Albert's father had been such a good man; but Albert seemed to have forgotten his sins now he was dead and so earnestly and so movingly did he talk of his father's virtues to me that I began to believe in them too. ~ Victoria Victorious, page 314 ~

At birth, Princess Victoria was fourth in line for the throne of England, the often-overlooked daughter of a prince who died shortly after her birth. She and her mother lived in genteel poverty for most of her childhood, exiled from court because of her mother's dislike for her uncles, George IV and William IV. A strong, willful child, Victoria was determined not to be stifled by her powerful uncles or her unpopular, controlling mother. Then one morning, at the age of eighteen, Princess Victoria awoke to the news of her uncle William's death. The almost-forgotten princess was now Queen of England. Even better, she was finally free of her mother's iron hand and her uncles' manipulations. Her first act as queen was to demand that she be given a room - and a bed - of her own.

Victoria's marriage to her German cousin, Prince Albert, was a blissful happy one that produced nine children. Albert was her constant companion and one of her most trusted advisers. Victoria's grief after Prince Albert's untimely death was so shattering that for the rest of her life - nearly forty years - she dressed only in black. She survived several assassination attempts, and during her reign England's empire expanded around the globe until it touched every continent in the world.

This was one of the most tedious books I've read in a very long time. It was a most unflattering portrayal of Queen Victoria. She came across as a spoiled, selfish individual who used her position as queen to get her way and didn't hesitate to remind others quite often, including her husband, that she was queen and it was her way or no way. I also didn't find much evidence of a loving marriage. It appears to have been quite stormy with a husband that treated his wife as more of child than an adult. This isn't on my recommended reading list.


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