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↠´ Read å Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey Ù I m not one of her most ardent admirers but as a conscientious Brit, aware of Her late lamented Majesty s 200th birthday last month, it seemed appropriate to reach for Strachey s volume which I had never managed to read It is a little gem highly readable and an excellent overview of the woman who was every inch 63 according to the Royal Archives a Queen She probably wouldn t thank me for it, but whenever I think of a Queen, in all the many guises of Queenship, I think easily of Victoria No one could flounce like her I loved Strachey s gentle, witty style He knew a Queen when he saw one It is sympathetic but never sycophantic he paints the royal warts and all A smothering childhood at the hands of a single, rather insecure parent, probably ill prepared her for the life ahead her education was lacking, certainly Queen at 18, bride at 20, mother at 21 Albert, her adored and gifted husband, in effect educated her during their 21 year marriage The country owes him a great deal He did much to put the Great into GB and probably killed himself in the process His widow would not, of course, allow us to forget.
There were other men in her life on and off the national stage here s a flavour of Strachey after the long gloom of her bereavement, after the chill of the Gladstonian discipline, she expanded to the rays of Disraeli s devotion like a flower in the sun The strain of charlatanism, which had unconsciously captivated her in Napoleon III, exercised the same enchanting effect in the case of Disraeli He referred to her as The Faery , quoting Spenser of course Lytton Strachey gives outrageous examples of this flattery and the heights of campness their relationship reached.
In old age she communicated tirelessly by letter with her vast family, following with absorbed interest every detail in the lives of the ever ramifying cousinhood to quote Strachey again.
Interestingly, she was left the bulk of the estate of John Neild, a Miser, who died in 1852 This amounted to 500,000 approx or around 65.
5 million in today s money So, a bit of a financial buffer for her I guess Recommended 4 This Is The Definitive Biography Of Britain S Greatest Monarch, Who Was Hailed At Once As The Mother Of Her People And As The Embodied Symbol Of Their Imperial Greatness One Of The Surpassingly Beautiful Prose Achievements Of Our Time Chicago Daily News Index Illustrations After seeing The Young Victoria, I became very interested in reading about her Apparently, she fell for Albert practically on sight and didn t need much persuasion to get married at all I wanted to know about her family life the most but there isn t much of that in this book Albert was extremely private and so it doesn t surprise me much There is a lot of speculation about how Albert felt about his situation but again I don t know how much to believe since most of it is observation This book goes a lot into the political changes Victoria went through and how stressful to her it was She could be very dependent on those prime ministers she liked and practically went to pieces when they lost their elections There is great detail about Albert s Great Exhibition which sounds like it would have been very exciting to see during that time I don t think I ll read this book again since it is pretty dry but I m glad I did.
This is not in Lytton Strachey s crafty and mordant biography but he would have seen this and smirked his head off When Queen Victoria got married, the joke going round the gentlemen s clubs of Mayfair was about the honeymoon train It would be setting out from Waterloo, passing through Virginia Water and Bushey until arriving at Maidenhead, leaving Staines behind For those unfamiliar with the geography of the Home Counties, these are all small towns in the south of England When the British throne is occupied by a female person, there is always a strange story behind it, because, obviously, that should never happen For there to be a Queen, a lot of men have to have died How Victoria got to be Queen was really most convoluted and unlikely but she did She was the great transition between monarchs who actually did something to monarchs who just represented something.
I prefer them when they don t do anything at all, like Charles I after he was decapitated They re the best sort.
I m not one of her most ardent admirers but as a conscientious Brit, aware of Her late lamented Majesty s 200th birthday last month, it seemed appropriate to reach for Strachey s volume which I had never managed to read It is a little gem highly readable and an excellent overview of the woman who was every inch 63 according to the Royal Archives a Queen She probably wouldn t thank me for it, but whenever I think of a Queen, in all the many guises of Queenship, I think easily of Victoria No one could flounce like her I loved Strachey s gentle, witty style He knew a Queen when he saw one It is sympathetic but never sycophantic he paints the royal warts and all A smothering childhood at the hands of a single, rather insecure parent, probably ill prepared her for the life ahead her education was lacking, certainly Queen at 18, bride at 20, mother at 21 Albert, her adored and gifted husband, in effect educated her during their 21 year marriage The country owes him a great deal He did much to put the Great into GB and probably killed himself in the process His widow would not, of course, allow us to forget.
There were other men in her life on and off the national stage here s a flavour of Strachey after the long gloom of her bereavement, after the chill of the Gladstonian discipline, she expanded to the rays of Disraeli s devotion like a flower in the sun The strain of charlatanism, which had unconsciously captivated her in Napoleon III, exercised the same enchanting effect in the case of Disraeli He referred to her as The Faery , quoting Spenser of course Lytton Strachey gives outrageous examples of this flattery and the heights of campness their relationship reached.
In old age she communicated tirelessly by letter with her vast family, following with absorbed interest every detail in the lives of the ever ramifying cousinhood to quote Strachey again.
Interestingly, she was left the bulk of the estate of John Neild, a Miser, who died in 1852 This amounted to 500,000 approx or around 65.
5 million in today s money So, a bit of a financial buffer for her I guess Recommended 4 I found this a remarkable biography It is quite short when one considers that it covers the longest reign in English History and the life of a monarch who lived 81 years It works because Strachey focuses on the personality relationships that dominated that period all of which centered upon the Queen Thus we find chapters dealing with Lord Melbourne, Prince Albert Chapters 4 through 6 , Lord Palmerston in conjunction with the Prince Consort Gladstone and Disraeli In The central section the dominant character is Prince Albert and he is an enormously interesting character While Strachey gives the Prince his due as an intelligent, clever man, he also presents him with considerable irony and implies that the early death of Albert was the best thing that could have happened to the Monarchy After his death the story of Victoria is rather quickly told Here, Strachey merely sketches perhaps purposely some quite interesting moments, especially the strange relationship between the straight laced Queen and her servant, the burly, impolite whisky drinker John Brown who became her favourite at Balmoral Castle There have always been rumours that Victoria secretly made a morganatic marriage with the Scotsman When he died she seemed to regard his death as on a par with that of the Prince Consort She filled the castle with mementos of him and even raised a life sized statue in remembrance at Balmoral Brown was hated by Victoria s son, who later became Edward VI When he took the throne he eliminated all the mementos of John Brown and moved the statue to a nearly inaccessible part of the estate You can still see it but it helps to get someone with local knowledge to guide you to the location But the relationship may not have had any actual romantic element at all Another reason that Victoria had such an interest in John Brown was owing to the fact that he was psychic and was supposedly able to contact the Prince Consort during seances If this is true, then it would explain a great deal including the remarkable liberties the queen allowed in the conduct of John Brown.
I found this a remarkable biography It is quite short when one considers that it covers the longest reign in English History and the life of a monarch who lived 81 years It works because Strachey focuses on the personality relationships that dominated that period all of which centered upon the Queen Thus we find chapters dealing with Lord Melbourne, Prince Albert Chapters 4 through 6 , Lord Palmerston in conjunction with the Prince Consort Gladstone and Disraeli In The central section the dominant character is Prince Albert and he is an enormously interesting character While Strachey gives the Prince his due as an intelligent, clever man, he also presents him with considerable irony and implies that the early death of Albert was the best thing that could have happened to the Monarchy After his death the story of Victoria is rather quickly told Here, Strachey merely sketches perhaps purposely some quite interesting moments, especially the strange relationship between the straight laced Queen and her servant, the burly, impolite whisky drinker John Brown who became her favourite at Balmoral Castle There have always been rumours that Victoria secretly made a morganatic marriage with the Scotsman When he died she seemed to regard his death as on a par with that of the Prince Consort She filled the castle with mementos of him and even raised a life sized statue in remembrance at Balmoral Brown was hated by Victoria s son, who later became Edward VI When he took the throne he eliminated all the mementos of John Brown and moved the statue to a nearly inaccessible part of the estate You can still see it but it helps to get someone with local knowledge to guide you to the location But the relationship may not have had any actual romantic element at all Another reason that Victoria had such an interest in John Brown was owing to the fact that he was psychic and was supposedly able to contact the Prince Consort during seances If this is true, then it would explain a great deal including the remarkable liberties the queen allowed in the conduct of John Brown.
I read this originally for historical purposes, just to see what all the fuss was about really in all the other biographies I d read However, I took it out of the library and couldn t put it down.
I loved Strachey s quiet exasperation of the Queen s somewhat questionable fashion sense at the state visit to Paris in 1855 It was the first time I d read about such a reaction to her clothing and the slightly unnerving image of all that green and carnations was rather amusing As was the profusion of rings and of course the giant gold poodle handbag.
I also found it extremely interesting how well Strachey wrote about Albert s death, especially as he wrote it before authors could use the Queen s diaries and a great deal of other sources to expand their knowledge In fact, as he wrote Queen Victoria in 1921, Princess Beatrice would still have been alive and still editing said diaries I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in Victoria, as it gives an amusing and concise history of her life without being too long or complicated.
I had expected this free e book to be a bit on the dry side Although it was bit boring at times, most of it was fascinating and quite engaging More than anything, the love between Victoria and Albert touched my heart.
Giles Lytton Strachey was an early 20th century writer and biographer who developed a reputation for writing biographies that dealt with individuals as people, rather than the events they were associated with His 1921 biography of the British monarch, Queen Victoria, is a highly readable insight into this long reigning queen Many public domain books can be slow to read, with language that is sometimes archaic when compared to contemporary writing This is not the case with Strachey s work Not only does it thoroughly cover Victoria s life from childhood to death, but it is an engaging read that explores Victoria s relationships, both personal and professional I particularly liked reading of the love between Victoria and her husband, Albert, much of which is detailed in Victoria s journals and letters I also enjoyed Strachey s turn of phrase and his ability to create such effective word pictures of this fascinating monarch and her life If you have any interest in history or curiosity about British monarchs I think you will enjoy this book I certainly did far than I expected to.
For a book written and published approximately 90 years ago, this had a very modern feel Strachey s biography certainly contains all the bones of Victoria s life biographers writing after Strachey added meat, particularly the later years of Victoria s life and reign Even Strachey has all the meat in the early years, up to the Prince Consort s death I wonder if Strachey s biography set the narrative tone, created the Victoria story so to speak that future biographers all follow I also assumed that one of the reasons the latter part of the biography was slimmer than the first half was that some of the players, including three of Victoria s children, were alive when this was published I wonder what their reactions to the book were, or if they even read it I had never read anything by Strachey before, and I always assumed his nonfiction was witty or catty or revolutionary, sort of like a Bloomsbury Mark Twain or Bill Bryson But this was essentially a straightforward biography that could have been published today we d demand sex though, I think, especially about a queen with nine children Maybe publishing the biography of a beloved queen, when people still remembered her fondly or otherwise was revolutionary in the 1920s it s certainly common place now.
This very lively biography of Queen Victoria must be one of the best ads for republicanism I have come across voluble, domineering, egotist, not well educated, her genuine concerns for her subjects appear rarely if at all In most interactions she is surprised and disappointed by their failure to understand what she really means.
Why should birth confer privileges to such a person She harasses her Ministers, she presses for war on one side then the other on a whim, she amasses a private fortunes drawing largely from the State coffers.
I am not in the position to judge how much of this account is biased and how much of it is backed up by evidence e.
g how does Strachey know that Albert was sad and unsatisfied putting this on one side, it is a very engaging book that for sure pictures a 3D image of Queen Victoria and her times.
This is a short biography of Queen Victoria s years in the throne It starts with a little background of the line of succession and the circumstances that made her next in line It basically centers in the first years of her reign, while she was in close relationships with Lord M and then, with Albert The years after Albert s death are little known according to the author, so it was not well detailed Also, the wars and political context wasn t truly portrayed, it s a private life biography and I really appreciated it because I wanted the whole picture.
The author is not impartial, you can see the opinions floating over there, but the actual thing that I disliked about the book was that it jumped to situations not telling the exact date and then went back a decade to explain another thing Give me a timeline, people So, I had to download one in order to fully follow the development of things And, what s up with not adding the transcripts of german and french phrases Come on Was it just my copy All in all, it was a great book to understand the global lines of events and characters of the time and it had little color details about their lives and personalities that made it better It definitely made me want to read about Victoria and Albert s relationship because in the movies is too vanilla and investigating you can see that there were tough times and hard choices, and that they were like a fusion of power than two different individuals I would really like to dig deeper there, I m actually checking out books about it.
I would recommend readers to see a movie or know a little of the history before reading the book because it can get confusing otherwise All in all, it was pretty enjoyable and interesting so I m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
After seeing The Young Victoria, I became very interested in reading about her Apparently, she fell for Albert practically on sight and didn t need much persuasion to get married at all I wanted to know about her family life the most but there isn t much of that in this book Albert was extremely private and so it doesn t surprise me much There is a lot of speculation about how Albert felt about his situation but again I don t know how much to believe since most of it is observation This book goes a lot into the political changes Victoria went through and how stressful to her it was She could be very dependent on those prime ministers she liked and practically went to pieces when they lost their elections There is great detail about Albert s Great Exhibition which sounds like it would have been very exciting to see during that time I don t think I ll read this book again since it is pretty dry but I m glad I did.