CategoriesHistorical Biography VICTORIA: A Life


A. N. WILSON    Book Number: 81932    Product format: Hardback

Queen Victoria reigned at a time when the monarch still had some influence on public affairs, and Wilson's biography has been hailed as a masterpiece in bringing the monarch vividly to life. As we know from the recent television series, the young queen, who ascended the throne at the age of 19, had a close relationship with her first prime minister, Lord Melbourne, and Wilson does not hesitate to use the word "love" for the feeling between them, though it dwindled when Victoria met the young Prince Albert. Her childhood had been unhappy and one of her first acts on accession was to dismiss her mother's trusted adviser, Sir John Conroy. What Victoria did not know was that Conroy believed, almost certainly wrongly, that his wife was the illegitimate daughter of Victoria's own father, and this gave him a feeling of privilege in his relations with her. Wilson details Victoria's troubled relationship with Peel and Gladstone and her much more sympathetic bond with Disraeli. Another influence was the Dean of Windsor, Randall Davidson, who dissuaded her from publishing a memoir of her close companion John Brown, already the subject of a scurrilous spoof memoir entitled John Brown's Legs. Victoria's relationship with Brown and other favourites is still a puzzle to historians, but what is certain is that after Victoria's death much of her copious correspondence and diaries were destroyed. Wilson argues that this might have been because she often spoke disparagingly about her children, and the truth may never be known. 642pp, photos.
Published price: £25
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ISBN 9781594205996
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, History

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