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Queen Victoria's Matchmaking

The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe
Narrated by: Charlotte Strevens
Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

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 30, 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.

©2017 Deborah Cadbury (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"[An] absorbing book... The fall of the Romanovs occupies the superb last pages of Cadbury's book... Dynastic mergers, we may deduce from Deborah Cadbury's account, offer no defence against the whims of history. This catastrophe-laced slice of royal history offers a ripping read." (Miranda Seymour, The Observer)

"A rich history of Queen Victoria's canny use of political power." (Bookpage)

"Engrossing...Cadbury engagingly presents [Queen Victoria] as a mesmerising Mrs Bennet, summoning her children and then her grandchildren to Balmoral. ..The stories of [Queen Victoria's] descendants are mesmerising and often stranger than fiction...From the pen of a writer of skill and style, this surprising narrative leaves you wanting more." (Paula Byrne, The Times)

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Profile Image for LitLairLadyKerry
  • LitLairLadyKerry
  • 08-01-19

Beautifully written and narrated

Loved the peek into the last, especially the letters to and from the Queen and her family members

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Simone
  • Simone
  • 30-05-19

Extremely interesting and full of new tidbits

• When it came to the Royals I knew well, I was riveted to learn new details about them.

• When it came to the Royals I knew a little, I feel like I learned more about them and the book held my interest.

• When it came to the Royals I knew nothing about, I was completely lost!