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Victoria: The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen: Official Companion to the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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“Rappaport’s text beautifully and chronologically guides the reader through the early years of Victoria’s reign… This is a volume fans of the Masterpiece series will look at again and again.” (Newark Star Ledger)
“A marvelous companion to this series, with wonderful illustrations and an engaging backstory…” (New York Journal of Books)
From the Back Cover
Discover the world of the young Victoria, a world of court drama, sumptuous splendor, and the epic tale of an unexpected queen.
At only eighteen years old, Victoria was a rebellious and headstrong teenager when she ascended the throne as Queen of Great Britain, but she grew to become one of the most memorable, unshakable, and powerful women in history. Tracing the coming-of-age of one of Britain’s greatest monarchs, this official companion to the Masterpiece series on PBS reveals her triumphs over scandal and corruption, and the intimate loves, heartbreaking losses, fallouts, and family dramas that accompanied her early reign.
Written by internationally bestselling author and Victoria historical consultant Helen Rappaport, and including a foreword by Daisy Goodwin—acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of the series—Victoria details the history behind the show. It includes fascinating letters from the Queen, her family, confidants, and Prince Albert, offering truly authentic insight into the private life of the young Queen and the inner workings of the royal household, and painting a vivid picture of life in Victorian England.
Go behind the palace doors and discover the girl behind the Queen, as you’ve never seen her before.
Top customer reviews
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Queen Victoria might never have been born. Her father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, a younger son of King George III who had lived happily with his mistress for many years until 1817 when Princess Charlotte of Wales,at the time the King's only legitimate grandchild, unexpectedly died in childbirth. The necessity for an heir to the throne forced Edward and several of his brothers to abandon their mistresses and make suitable royal marriages. In Edward's case, his bride was a widowed German princess named Victoria who came from a large but impecunious family that ruled the small duchy of Saxe-Coburg. In May 1819 Victoria gave birth to a daughter who was named for her. In early 1820 the Duke of Kent suddenly died and his widow and small child were left alone at Kensington Palace, disliked and distrusted by the rest of the Royal Family. In such circumstances it was not surprising that the Duchess of Kent came under the influence of unscrupulous advisers like Sir John Conroy, and that the young Princess Victoria led a lonely childhood, depending on her German governess Baroness Lehzen for emotional support and friendship.
Fortunately the young Princess was intelligent and self-reliant. As a teenager she faced down Sir John Conroy's attempts to dominate her, and when she succeeded to the throne in June 1837 at age 18 she was quick to take command. She removed herself from her mother's orbit by taking up residence in Buckingham Palace, formed a strong friendship with her first prime minister Viscount Melbourne, and established herself as a powerful voice in Government. She made many missteps, becoming overly infatuated with Melbourne and refusing to accept the realities of parliamentary politics, was involved in a sordid whispering campaign against one of her mother's ladies-in-waiting who appeared to be pregnant but was actually mortally ill, and was booed and hissed in public.
One of Victoria's most important duties was to marry and produce children. She had two British cousins of suitable age, Prince George of Cumberland and Prince George of Cambridge, but fancied neither them nor a son of the King of Holland. She was tempted by the visiting Grand Duke Alexander of Russia, but eventually she was steered towards two German cousins, Princes Ernest and Albert of Saxe-Coburg, by her uncle King Leopold of the Belgians. As the television series depicts, Victoria's interest in and opinion of her cousins was mercurial and at first dismissive, but eventually she fell deeply and permanently in love with Prince Albert. They married in early 1840 and produced their first child, a daughter, later that year.
That's where both the series and this companion end. The companion contains a great deal of interesting commentary from Rappaport, not only on the characters themselves but on Victoria's dog Dash, her wedding cake, and even the royal wet nurse. The commentary should deepen viewers' interest in many of the characters, such as the Duchess of Sutherland and Lord Alfred Paget, who are seen only briefly in the series but who Rappaport reveals to have been intelligent and multi-faceted people in their own rights. There is a final section dealing with the making of the
series, showing some of the sets and featuring stills from the production.
This book is a well designed and scholarly work which will satisfy not only fans of the series but serious students of Queen Victoria's reign as well.
Most recent customer reviews
Full of very interesting information.
Helps you to understand the personality of the queen.
The letters of Victoria are fascinating.Read more