Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow

Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow

Who was Queen Victoria? A little old lady, potato-like in appearance, dressed in everlasting black? Or a passionate young princess, a romantic heroine with a love of dancing? There is also a third Victoria - a woman who was also a remarkably successful queen, one who invented a new role for the monarchy. She found a way of being a respected sovereign in an age when people...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow
Author:Lucy Worsley
Rating:

Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow Reviews

  • Marie-Dom

    I couldn't put this book down. Lucy Worsley creates a vivid picture of Victoria throughout her life. Brilliant research, beautifully written. Evocative. A wonderful portrait of a great queen and woman.

  • Theresa Dunk

    This book held my interest from start to finish. Lots of little stories I remember being passed down to me during my childhood, all true to the tale. Osbourne House in particular. Pity it did not mention Fort Albert which was a favourite playing ground of both V&A’s children and also mine.

  • Nancy

    Recent books and films have overturned the popular image of Queen Victoria as a dour recluse widow of ponderous dimensions to include the lively, stubborn girl-queen who loved dancing and wine and the young wife who enjoyed sex.

    Lucy Worsley wanted to expand Victoria's story beyond the "dancing princess to potato" to include the woman who preserved the monarchy and ruled an empire. Worsley draws from Victoria's diaries and journals, probing behind the polished exterior presented for posterity. He

    Recent books and films have overturned the popular image of Queen Victoria as a dour recluse widow of ponderous dimensions to include the lively, stubborn girl-queen who loved dancing and wine and the young wife who enjoyed sex.

    Lucy Worsley wanted to expand Victoria's story beyond the "dancing princess to potato" to include the woman who preserved the monarchy and ruled an empire. Worsley draws from Victoria's diaries and journals, probing behind the polished exterior presented for posterity. Her Victoria is a fully human, complicated, person, someone we can admire and dislike at the same time.

    The book concentrates on twenty-four days in Victoria's life through which readers come to understand her family background and relationships, her love for Albert (who both supported and limited her as queen), the places she loved, her political alliances and battles, the few people who became more than servants and valued as trusted friends, and her grief, loneliness, and physical incapacities in old age.

    Worsley writes in the preface, "I hope that seeing her [Victoria] up close, examining her face-to-face, as she lived hour-to-hour through twenty-four days of her life, might help you to imagine meeting her yourself, so that you can form your own opinion on the contradictions at the heart of British history's most recognizable woman."

    The physical woman Victoria is given attention. At her prime, Victoria was 5 feet and 1 1/4 inch tall, with tiny feet, large blue prominent eyes, and a "fine bust." Her lower lip hung open, but she also had a wide-open smile when delighted. Her weight yo-yoed with health, illness, pregnancy, dieting, and the incapacitation that in old age left her unable to walk. And she loved to walk on a brisk, cold day.

    Victoria ruled throughout most of the 19th c when monarchies across Europe were ended by revolutions. She came to the throne with everything against her, especially being a young and inexperienced girl.

    She was constantly being watched for signs of madness, both genetic and related to the "female problems" which were believed to trigger hysteria and madness.

    It was imperative that she marry and it was arranged she marry her German cousin Albert. She fell in love with his beauty and goodness. To compensate for his parental scandalous infidelities he was committed to being a loving father and husband. But Albert was a German and he had to win the British people's trust and love. His German coldness and exacting values could be hard to live with. He did not approve of Victoria's love of dancing and drinking.

    With Victoria perpetually pregnant (nine times!), Albert applied himself to fulfill her duties. Victoria came to rely on his guidance; his early death was devastating to her as queen as well as wife.

    In spite of her liaisons with unsuitable friends, the gilly John Brown and the Muslim Abdul, Victoria became the public image of the proper Victorian wife and widow, an "ordinary good woman."

    I found the book to be vastly interesting and enjoyable. It expanded my understanding of Victoria. It amazed me how much of Victoria's life Worsley covered in those twenty-four days!

    I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  • Katie Lumsden

    I really loved this one. Lucy Worsley just writes fantastic nonfiction.

  • Christina

    I run past Kensington Palace almost every morning, and every morning I see a tourist taking a picture of the giant white statue of Queen Victoria. I realised, being rather American, that I don't know very much about Queen Victoria. So when I saw that Lucy Worsley wrote a book about her, I felt it was my civic duty to read it. (Side note: Lucy Worsley is one of the best people on the planet, and I want to be her when I grow up.)

    I really enjoyed this book. It is interesting, and it reads more like

    I run past Kensington Palace almost every morning, and every morning I see a tourist taking a picture of the giant white statue of Queen Victoria. I realised, being rather American, that I don't know very much about Queen Victoria. So when I saw that Lucy Worsley wrote a book about her, I felt it was my civic duty to read it. (Side note: Lucy Worsley is one of the best people on the planet, and I want to be her when I grow up.)

    I really enjoyed this book. It is interesting, and it reads more like a conversation than a non-fiction history book. Lucy Worsley picked out different moments in Queen Victoria's life to focus on, which was an interesting way to chronologically and topically explore the queen's life.

    There was never a moment where I thought Lucy got lost in her own musings or wandered on a random side-topic, which is something a lot of history books tend to do. Instead, she added in quite a few interesting quotes from both the queen and the people around her.

    Lucy Worsley was also very candid on how she feels about Queen Victoria. I appreciated that, because Queen Victoria is complex. There were moments where I pity her, where I find her ridiculous and stupid, and times where she is genius and good. I felt a slight bond with Victoria when it spoke about her maternal instincts (She has none. I also have none. Oh, and seeing pictures of your baby on Instagram bores me.) I also felt like I understood her in her extraordinary ordinariness. But then I also can't believe how she witnessed the terrible suffering of her people (think Dicken's Bleak House or the Irish famines), and she didn't do anything to help or stop it.

    However, there were times when the book didn't seem quite clear. In two of the later chapters, it was as if topics were wrapped up too quickly. But maybe this was just me wanting to learn more and not any fault of Lucy's (We are on a first-name basis now, Lucy).

    Oh, and each time I read the book, I had to will myself to not spill tea on it and ruin the beautiful cover. It was a trying time.

  • Judy

    Very readable, each chapter taking a significant date in her life. Lucy certainly brings history to life.

  • Helen Carolan

    I love Ms Worsley's books, but I've never been a big fan of queen Victoria or prince Albert. However I might revise my idea of Victoria. Certainly her early years with her mother were difficult, but her later treatment of her mother was quite shocking. Much of the blame for how Victoria turned out in later years can be laid at Albert's door. Despite vowing to herself never to become dependent on a man like her mother, Victoria did exactly that and allowed Albert to dictate how both their private

    I love Ms Worsley's books, but I've never been a big fan of queen Victoria or prince Albert. However I might revise my idea of Victoria. Certainly her early years with her mother were difficult, but her later treatment of her mother was quite shocking. Much of the blame for how Victoria turned out in later years can be laid at Albert's door. Despite vowing to herself never to become dependent on a man like her mother, Victoria did exactly that and allowed Albert to dictate how both their private and public lives were lived.Albert does not come out of this book smelling of roses,but Victoria has been slightly redeemed for me. As usual Ms Worsley,s writing is informative and witty.

  • Louise

    I enjoyed this, it was a great insight on to Queen Victoria's life. Its really easy to read.

  • Olishka

    Worsley: "On the face of it, she was deeply conservative. But if you look at her actions rather than her words, she was in fact tearing up the rule book for how to be female."

    Victoria: “I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of “Women’s Rights,” with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to “unsex”

    Worsley: "On the face of it, she was deeply conservative. But if you look at her actions rather than her words, she was in fact tearing up the rule book for how to be female."

    Victoria: “I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of “Women’s Rights,” with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to “unsex” themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male protection.”

    Can we just stop with this stuff? Victoria wasn't a feminist; she was not a good queen, she enjoyed her status but treated her daughters particularly cruel (the woman literally wrote to one whose son died, basically 'how dare you compare your grief to mine, for you 'ONLY' lost a son and not a husband') . She was a woman of complexity and contradictions, at once one half of the greatest love story of royal history with Prince Albert, yet a far from loving mother; a woman who could feel sympathy, yet also was virulently anti-Irish; was a sovereign queen, yet violently anti-feminist and didn’t think women were fit to rule. At the time she died, she reigned longer than any English monarch in history yet is responsible by her erratic behaviour for the erosion of what was left of the powers of the royal family, creating a permanently damaging image.

    Worsley has a tendency to complete misquotation. Even in her Daily Fail article, where she writes "She was determined, she wrote, that as a widow ‘no one person, may he be ever so good… is to lead, or guide, or dictate to me’. She was saying that no one would ever again have the mastery over her that Albert had possessed. And she was right. From now on, she stood, and ruled, alone. With Bertie’s illness, Victoria’s return to the self she had lost in Albert had begun." When in ACTUALLITY, THIS is what Victoria wrote and meant:

    That's a really disgusting twist of history for a writer who claims to be "#teamvictoria", which I AM. As much as I love Albert, Victoria is my unrivaled favourite between the two. Having a favourite doesn't mean erasing their flaws but embracing them as a fact and not molding them into 21st century ideals.

    As noted in professional reviews, this author of popular history (I would like to note Worsley while a professional art historian, is not an academic professional historian, she does not have a professional degree in history nor worked as a professional historian academic. It takes expert training & profession to write genuine history) completely relies on other people's second hand sources, quoting them incessantly. There is such little reliance on primary sources that it's no surprise with her white "feminism" Worsley attempts to paint Victoria as a feminist figure and good queen, and all her flaws are blamed on others. It really just came off to be as a lazy and obvious capitalization on the relative popularity of the historically loose ITV Victoria, in which Victoria is disgustingly portrayed as a feminist social justice queen even supporting the Irish; in Ireland she is known as the Famine queen, Irish people hate her, for GOOD reasons, she called them "terrible people" and blocked donations to the Irish genocide relief that were higher than hers because she didn't want to be outdone - making her completely complicit in the deaths caused by her government. It makes me irritated white women feel the need to spin anti-feminist white women as women's rights activists, where there are ACTUAL feminist figures - including ones of colour who are gravely ignored in popular history. (BTW, this is not at all me saying Worsley should or is duty bound to write about woc - I don't want her to) - but my point being Victoria isn't a feminist and feminists of colour are overlooked. It's a huge reach, a weird way for white women to feel better about their favs. You can like a historical figure without romantisation. I was weary of Worsley's work for a while, especially watching her young Victoria documentary, where she grossly claims Victoria was exaggerating her abuse by her mother. Yet Worsley calls Albert - very wrongly - an abuser (first written by her in a Daily Fail article).

    You can't play an abuse apologist and supporter of abuse victims like me.

    These are narrative nonfiction books that I recommend, that rely heavily on primary source and thus are far more balanced and accurate and well-written: the definitive biographies by

    -

    , and

    -

    . Other excellent sources:

    by

    ,

    by

    ,

    by

    ,

    by

    ( By the way, unlike the book blurb says, Victoria was 11 not 13 when she found out she was queen. I've only heard one other medium claim 13 and it was ITV Victoria... take that information with that you will.)

    I noticed on the American edition (I read the British edition) the blurb includes this curious line, "Far from a proto-feminist, Queen Victoria was socially conservative and never supported women’s rights. And yet, Victoria thwarted the strict rules of womanhood that defined the era to which she gave her name...How did the woman who defined Victorian womanhood also manage to defy its conventions?" I can answer this simply: like most social conservatives, Victoria was a complete hypocrite: her private life including a guiltless (as it should be, by the way) love of sex and imperious, independent behavior. This hypocrisy is not something to be admired, but condemned. This is not "tearing up the rulebook on how to be a woman" but rather what we see so much in social conservative circles where in private they engage in sex for pleasure, even including adultery (or even actual sexual depravity) while telling women who have sex for pleasure, or speak out on issues, they are amoral and should obey their man and tell LGBTQIA+ people they're going to hell on this empty moral crusader facade.

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.