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Queen Victoria, a woman of diminutive stature and superabundant temperament, gave her name to something more than an age. Elizabeth Longford's classic biography won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize when it was first published in 1964. The author's grasp of the era's politics, and her understanding of the problems which confront a woman who is not only a queen but also a mother of a large high-spirited family, make this book unique to this day.
The young queen is shown tormented by an unhappy childhood, enraptured by a love match (on both sides), and tantalised by an all too brief period of happy marriage. In part II the Queen's renowned qualities emerge, alongside some surprising traits which present her in a fresh and thoroughly human light.
And by her side, a galaxy of colourful personalities crowd this book: Melbourne and Flora Hastings, Gladstone and Disraeli, John Brown and the Munshi, Lord Salisbury and the Kaiser.
Elizabeth Longford's affectionate portrait shows, above all, how an iron sense of duty impelled a secluded widow to rule her Empire as a mother, her family as a queen.
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- Anonymous User
A Historical Masterpiece
I thoroughly enjoyed this amazingly informative narration of the adored Queen's life and the reader was superb in the many roles she acted especially in the voice of the Queen herself.
I would like to ask that one error of fact be corrected. In the final chapter the murder of Bishop Patterson is reported to have been carried out by "Africans". In fact he was murdered in the Solomon Islands where the people are Melanesian. Bishop Patterson was head of the Melanesian Mission (i.e. the Anglican Church) in the Solomons. He was murdered, as he toured the Eastern District, in retribution for the many Solomon Islanders who were kidnapped to work in the sugar plantations of North Queensland. I have seen the use of "Africans" instead of Pacific Islanders before in art exhibitions. At the time it seemed to be a generic word for dark skinned people. But surely in the 21st Century such incorrect vocabulary should be corrected?
Isabel Michie, Noosa, Queensland. firstname.lastname@example.org
3 people found this helpful
Queen Victoria ..
If you want the essence of Queen Victoria read or in this instance listen to this book,largely it comes from her journals, so the words and feelings are hers.She did love all of her children,she also loved the ordinary people of her country,she was argumentative,stubborn,hard headed at times,she was also compassionate emotional and loving.above all she loved her family and her people,how fo we know this,because Elizabeth Longford,, has taken her insight and skill to put her feelings for us.a lovely lovely book.
1 person found this helpful
Unfortunately I had to force myself through to the end.. I am a huge fan of Queen Victoria but this seemed to jump about where her marriage and children were concerned with far too much detail on the political aspect of her role and her prime ministers...
2 people found this helpful