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  #61  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:42 PM
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I can't wait to get this.I mostly want to read about Alix.
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  #62  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:47 PM
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I am excited about this book as well but mainly because of Irene and Victoria. Very little is known about Irene.
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  #63  
Old 03-08-2012, 12:37 PM
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"A Magnificent Obsession" [Victoria & Albert] by Helen Rappaport (2011)

I highly recommend this book.

Book Review of Helen Rappaport, A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the British Monarchy | Carolyn Harris: Royal Historian

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  #64  
Old 07-31-2012, 10:07 AM
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"Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy" (2012)

Fascinating new book about the seven men who made attempts on the life of Queen Victoria

The Victorian Book Reviews 2: Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy by Paul Thomas Murphy | Carolyn Harris: Royal Historian
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:12 PM
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"Shooting Victoria" by Paul Thomas Murphy (2012)

CRAIG BROWN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK: Queen Victoria: The great survivor | Mail Online
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:57 AM
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"Shooting Victoria
Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy"

by Paul Thomas Murphy (2012)


Pegasus Books
ISBN-10: 1605983543
ISBN-13: 978-1605983547

32 pages of black & white and color illustrations

publisher's blurb
A New York Times Notable Book for 2012.
From a hunchbacked dwarf to a paranoid poet–assassin, a history of Victorian England as seen through the numerous assassination attempts on Queen Victoria.

During Queen Victoria’s 64-year reign, no fewer than eight attempts were made on her life. Murphy follows each would-be assassin and the repercussions of their actions, illuminating daily life in Victorian England, the development of the monarchy under Queen Victoria and the evolution of the attacks in light of evolving social issues and technology.

There was Edward Oxford, a bartender who dreamed of becoming an admiral, who was simply shocked when his attempt to shoot the pregnant Queen and Prince consort made him a madman in the world’s eyes. There was hunchbacked John Bean, who dreamed of historical notoriety in a publicized treason trial, and William Hamilton, forever scarred by the ravages of the Irish Potato Famine. Roderick MacLean enabled Victoria to successfully strike insanity pleas from Britain’s legal process. Most threatening of all were the “dynamitards” who targeted her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee—who signaled the advent of modern terrorism with their publicly focused attack.

From these cloak-and-dagger plots to Victoria’s brilliant wit and steadfast courage, Shooting Victoria is historical narrative at its most thrilling, complete with astute insight into how these attacks actually revitalized the British crown at a time when monarchy was quickly becoming unpopular abroad. While thrones across Europe toppled, the Queen’s would-be assassins contributed greatly to the preservation of the monarchy and to the stability that it enjoys today. After all, as Victoria herself noted, “It is worth being shot at—to see how much one is loved.”

excerpts from the Mail Online link by Craig Brown

Every fresh attempt on her life resulted in an increase in Queen Victoria’s popularity. ‘It is worth being shot at,’ she once observed, ‘to see how much one is loved.’

Over the course of her reign, she survived no fewer than eight different assassination attempts by seven different assassins, six of them with guns. Her archetypal assailant was in his late teens and as mad as a hatter. The very first was Edward Oxford, an 18-year-old whose mother had been forced to close her pastry shop after her customers were driven away by her son’s strange cries and violent rages. She nevertheless maintained high hopes for his future. "How proud I should be of my son when I saw his name in the papers, Admiral Edward Oxford!’ she predicted, over-optimistically.

One day, he took up a position on Constitution Hill, close to Buckingham Palace. As the Royal carriage passed by, Prince Albert noticed this strange youth, posing histrionically. ‘His attitude was so affected and theatrical it quite amused me,’ he said later.Edward fired twice, and missed both times, though his guns may well not have been loaded.

In a funny sort of way, the story had a happy ending for both the assassin and his would-be victim. The young Victoria – she was only 20 at the time – had been going through a patch of extreme unpopularity, having cold-shouldered a member of her Court, the unmarried Lady Flora Hastings, on the grounds that she was pregnant out of wedlock, when the lump in her stomach was in fact a deadly tumour.

Quite rightly, the public had turned against Victoria for her cruelty towards Lady Flora, booing and hissing her when she appeared in public. But the public, then as now, were nothing if not fickle, and Edward Oxford’s attempt on the Queen’s life made them all rally round.

‘Did you see how I was noticed?’ Oxford asked afterwards. Madame Tussaud dutifully increased his sense of self-esteem by recreating him in wax. His bumptiousness irritated even those usually drawn to the dispossessed.‘It’s a great pity they couldn’t suffocate that boy, Master Oxford, and say no more about it,’ sighed Charles Dickens.

Edward Oxford served as the prototype for most of Victoria’s other would-be assassins. By and large, they were young, poor, demented, unlovely and unloved. A colourful exception, and my personal favourite, if one is permitted favourites in such an odd category, was Robert Francis Pate, who, true to his surname, lived above Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly.Supported by a private income, he used to spend his days marching obsessively around the London parks clad in bright blue, taking giant goose steps and swinging his cane manically in the air. Queen Victoria had noticed him frequently, and viewed him as a pleasing eccentric.

One day, for reasons unknown, not least to himself, Pate stepped up to the Queen’s carriage, raised his cane, and began slashing away at her head. Before long, he was overpowered by onlookers, but not before he had inflicted a wound: blood flowed from the Queen’s brow, and the scar remained with her for another ten years. Nevertheless, she doggedly insisted on continuing with her plans for the day, visiting the opera at Covent Garden in the evening.

As ever, she found her popularity increasing with each attack. Cheering crowds lined the streets. ‘The feeling of all classes is admirable,’ she trilled that night in her journal. ‘The lowest of the low being most indignant.’

In his introduction to this long, rambling and endearingly dotty book, Paul Thomas Murphy believes that he has contributed ‘something new to our understanding of this truly great queen’. I’m not sure he has. Just as most of her attackers are very samey, so too are the Queen’s reactions. The demented young assassin strikes and fails; the Queen insists on business as usual; the felon is judged not guilty on the grounds of insanity; the Queen is furious, believing such soft-soaping will only encourage others. And so the cycle continues. ‘Am greatly surprised and shocked at the verdict . . . It is really too bad,’ she writes in her journal when the final assailant is bundled off to Broadmoor, but she might have written it of any of them. There is a Groundhog Day feel to most of the assassination attempts, and also to Queen Victoria’s reactions to them.

But if "Shooting Victoria" did not teach me much more about Queen Victoria, it certainly taught me something about the Victorian attitude to madness and punishment, which seems in many ways more enlightened than our own.

One might have expected a compact little book, but Paul Thomas Murphy is a martyr to the red herring. He never needs an excuse to go off on a lengthy tangent on the Great Exhibition, or a new elephant in the London Zoo, or the Tichborne Claimant, or the Irish Potato Famine. This makes "Shooting Victoria" more of a ramble than a sprint, but it is an appropriately nutty book, full of curiosity and zest.

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  #67  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:06 PM
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My impressions of Queen Victoria from "Bertie: Life of Edward VII By Jane Ridley"

My impressions of Queen Victoria from "Bertie: Life of Edward VII By Jane Ridley"

I found this book in a random search on Google (not the complete one).
Since I hardly read any "exclusive" Royal books, I dont know the degree of authenticity of this book/its author/contents..
But I find a lot of things which contradict the glorious image we've been fed of Queen Victoria and her marriage, and her relationship with her kids, and her overall intelligence and maturity as a monarch.
It was nothing particularly negative about her, but it certainly reduces the "awe" we generally hold her in...

Some of the most important points that interested me are:

1. The Queen totally went by her personal prejudices in international politics, without bothering aboutthe national interests or the public opinion (of the government and ministers).
A good example was the Prusso-Danish War, in which the Queen blindly supported the Germans, regardless of any political (national) intersts or her governments' opinion. She even implored on the Prince of Wales that he should not have sympathy for Danish (his views concurred with those of the ministers), because all your relatives are german, and you yourself are half-German.
She even presumed that Prince's support for Danish was due to ill-influence of his wife, and lamented having to get a Danish PssOW instead of a "good German princess"..

2. The Queen went to open The Parliament only four times in the 14 years following Albert's death. But each time she went, it was only because she needed a favour- either a dowry for a daughter, an allowance or a military position for a son or something like that. And if there is no such nedd, she will simply stay back citing "mourning". So her style of functioning totally lacks the immense "sense of duty" exemplified by the later monarchs in their day-to0day functioning.

3.Victoria and Albert's marriage had more than their share of internal power-politics and ego clashes.Victoria never failed to show him that she is his Sovereign,a that he is always below her.
However the author analyses that terribly starved of affection and a male figure her entire life, Victoria made Albert her everything- husband, friend, lover, father,..And another intersting thing is- so deprived of affection in her own childhood, and craving for it in Albert, she could never become an affectionate mother..So it automatically paved way for Albert taking control of his wife and kids also..
OTOH, Albert thought that a woman was not capable of "reigning (atleast)", and he should take charge. Though he genuinely gave all the love, care and affection his wife and kids needed, he smartly and patiently waited for right moments to change things in his favour, starting from removing Lehzen from Royal Household, to going higher up..

4.Victoria did not agree for PoW's trip to India. But once the trip was a success, she persuaded the Parliament in 1876 to make her The Empress of India.This was seen as "stealing the credit of her son, while always making him look useless". It interesting to know that no one from the Government, or even the PoW hiself liked this "Imperial" status, higher than their own "Royal" status. Bertie even immediately rejected his "Imperial Highness" status..

5. And not to mention, Victoria's constant undermining of Bertie, having her aides write to Ministers "not to show state papers to PoW", having elaborate surveillance on the newly married Prince and Princess of Wales..


Did anyone of you read this book? What do you think of the things I mentioned here?
I didnt read of the later stages of Bertie's life and his reign..maybe its for another time.(If at all anyone bothers to discuss,,)
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  #68  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post

Some of the most important points that interested me are:

1. The Queen totally went by her personal prejudices in international politics, without bothering the national interests or the public opinion (of the government and ministers).
That's possibly one of the most commonest things, I thought, people knew about Queen Victoria. She spoke her mind and got her way, case in point would be Victoria and her spat over Melbourne not being her PM. She put the country in danger because she liked him.

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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
The Queen went to open The Parliament only four times in the 14 years following Albert's death.
I didn't even think she went that many, I thought it was only 1.

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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
3.Victoria and Albert's marriage had more than their share of internal power-politics and ego clashes. Victoria never failed to show him that she is his Sovereign,a dn he is always below her.
However the author analyses that terribly starved of affection and a male figure her entire life, Victoria made Abert her everything- husband, friend, lover, father,..And another intersting thing is- so deprived of affection in her own childhood, and craving for it in Albert, she could never become an affectionate mother..So it automatically paved way for Albert taking control of his wife and kids also..
That I also thought everyone knew, it's been shown in films and in books over and over again the rocky relationship they had. The film The Young Victoria staring Emily Blunt showed this dynamic perfectly, especially when she had to propose to Albert because she was the Monarch. Victoria's life collapsed after Albert died, showing both her great love for him and her awful head of state skills.



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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
And not to mention, Victoria's constant undermining of Bertie, having her aides write to Ministers "not to show state papers to PoW", having elaborate surveillance on the newly married Prince and Princess of Wales..
That's not surprising considering what is known about their relationship. They didn't get on well and Edward was always blamed for his fathers death.


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(If at all anyone bothers to discuss,,)
People discuss things they find interesting, it's hard sometimes to discuss things people know nothing about.
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  #69  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:30 PM
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Ok I guess I am lagging far behind regarding Victorian age. Actually she never interested me that much. Even this book, I chose out of interest in E7. Sadly Google left only pages about Victoria and Bertie's early life, and removed all pages of the crucial stages of his later life...

So how come a constitutional monarch was given so much liberty in those days of having favourites in politics..expressing views on foreign relations and all..
Was it because the "party-policy-ideology-centred democracy" was not still refined? Or there was absolute reverance to the monarch? Or people simply never cared what she said or did?
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  #70  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
So how come a constitutional monarch was given so much liberty in those days of having favourites in politics..expressing views on foreign relations and all..
Was it because the "party-policy-ideology-centred democracy" was not still refined? Or there was absolute reverance to the monarch? Or people simply never cared what she said or did?
She wasn't given a lot of liberty per se. The only incidents I can think of are the Bedchamber Crisis. The incident you mentioned is just personal preference for a country she came from.
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  #71  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
Ok I guess I am lagging far behind regarding Victorian age. Actually she never interested me that much. Even this book, I chose out of interest in E7. Sadly Google left only pages about Victoria and Bertie's early life, and removed all pages of the crucial stages of his later life...

So how come a constitutional monarch was given so much liberty in those days of having favourites in politics..expressing views on foreign relations and all..
Was it because the "party-policy-ideology-centred democracy" was not still refined? Or there was absolute reverance to the monarch? Or people simply never cared what she said or did?
The concept of Constitutional Monarch, who is above politics, was still evolving by the time Queen Victoria was reigning, she was an executive Monarch.

And she's wasn't different from her contemporaries. In Brazil, Emperor Pedro II was always trying to keep the Liberals and Conservatives in peace, he alway had to get involved with political affairs. And he's regarded as Brazil's best Head of State ever.
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  #72  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:48 PM
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In her day the monarch had far more obvious influence in areas like foreign affairs. Albert probably saved a major dispute and possible war between the US and the UK by rewriting Palmerstons response to the Trent affair in more diplomatic language. Even Edward VII maintained a pretty independent foreign policy. Both Victoria & her son reigned in eras when monarchs could still deal pretty directly with each other,keeping in mind that democracy was not well advanced on the continent, and in many cases Victoria and Edward knew more about what was going on behind the scenes in European Chancellories than their own ministers did.
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  #73  
Old 05-21-2013, 12:09 PM
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"Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household" by Kate Hubbard

"Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household" by Kate Hubbard

My review of Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household by Kate Hubbard. A fascinating account of what it was like to work for Queen Victoria.

The Victorian Book Reviews 4: Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household by Kate Hubbard | Carolyn Harris: Royal Historian
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:45 PM
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"Prince Eddy, The King Britain Never Had" by Andrew Cook

Amazon.com: Prince Eddy: The King Britain Never Had (9780752445922): Andrew Cook: Books

I found it to be very interesting.



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  #75  
Old 07-20-2013, 04:51 PM
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"Eddy & Hélène...an impossible match" by Prince Michael of Greece (2013)

EDDY & HÉLÈNE ...an impossible match
by Prince Michael of Greece

2013, Rosvall Royal Books, 128 pages, 38 illustrations

If Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, ‘Eddy’ to his family and friends, had lived to become king, Britain might have had a Roman Catholic queen. He certainly hoped it would. Biographers have dismissed Eddy’s love for Princess Hélène of Orléans as a thing of no consequence, the passing whim of an ineffectual prince who did the monarchy a favour by dying. But the recent discovery of a cache of original documents relating to their romance casts a new light on the affair, showing just how much the relationship meant to the couple themselves, and the lengths to which their families went in searching for a settlement that would allow them to marry. Ultimately, the religious obstacles proved too great, to the lasting sorrow of all concerned. Echoes of the affair lingered for many years, as this collection shows, though Eddy did not long survive the end of his hopes.

He lived long enough to contract a ‘suitable’ engagement to a childhood friend before dying of infl uenza in the winter of 1891-1892, and his reputation almost died with him. So little evidence was known until now of the man he was – the man Hélène and those close to him knew – that later generations created their own myth to fi ll the blank. But the newly-discovered material in this book includes the letters Eddy sent to Hélène, which open a unique window into the character of a much-maligned prince, and suggest that his whole biography may need to be rewritten ...

This book can be ordered at Rosvall Royal Books and to Royalty Digest Quarterly! - Royalbooks (Books)
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  #76  
Old 07-20-2013, 05:32 PM
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EDDY & HÉLÈNE ...an impossible match
by Prince Michael of Greece

2013, Rosvall Royal Books, 128 pages, 38 illustrations

If Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, ‘Eddy’ to his family and friends, had lived to become king, Britain might have had a Roman Catholic queen. He certainly hoped it would. Biographers have dismissed Eddy’s love for Princess Hélène of Orléans as a thing of no consequence, the passing whim of an ineffectual prince who did the monarchy a favour by dying. But the recent discovery of a cache of original documents relating to their romance casts a new light on the affair, showing just how much the relationship meant to the couple themselves, and the lengths to which their families went in searching for a settlement that would allow them to marry. Ultimately, the religious obstacles proved too great, to the lasting sorrow of all concerned. Echoes of the affair lingered for many years, as this collection shows, though Eddy did not long survive the end of his hopes.

He lived long enough to contract a ‘suitable’ engagement to a childhood friend before dying of influenza in the winter of 1891-1892, and his reputation almost died with him. So little evidence was known until now of the man he was – the man Hélène and those close to him knew – that later generations created their own myth to fi ll the blank. But the newly-discovered material in this book includes the letters Eddy sent to Hélène, which open a unique window into the character of a much-maligned prince, and suggest that his whole biography may need to be rewritten ...

This book can be ordered at Rosvall Royal Books and to Royalty Digest Quarterly! - Royalbooks (Books)
Someone is apparently unaware that the Royal Marriages Act would have prevented anyone married to a Roman Catholic from coming to the throne thus Helene could never have been an RC Queen of the UK had Eddie married her.
From everything I have read on this relationship both Queen Victoria and the PoW supported such a marriage but it was her father the Comte De Paris who ended any talks because he would not allow his daughter to convert to the CofE.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:44 PM
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*Someone is apparently unaware that the Royal Marriages Act would have prevented anyone married to a Roman Catholic from coming to the throne* thus Helene could never have been an RC Queen of the UK had Eddie married her.
From everything I have read on this relationship both Queen Victoria and the PoW supported such a marriage but it was her father the Comte De Paris who ended any talks because he would not allow his daughter to convert to the CofE.
I was thinking the same thing.

There's also the whole "had he lived Eddy would have likely married Mary of Teck, to whom he was engaged" aspect of it too.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:58 PM
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But had the Comte de Paris allowed his daughter to convert to CoE then Mary wouldn't have entered the equation as Eddy and Helene would have married and she would have been left to marry someone else - and yes George was still a possibility of course.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:07 PM
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No reviews available yet but the Rosvall Royal Books website has a lage illustration of Prince Eddy.

EDDY & HÉLÈNE - an impossible match, by Prince Michael of Greece - Forthcoming - Royalbooks

"Eddy’s charming and well-written letters, unique since most of what he wrote has been destroyed,
shed an entire new light on this much-slandered prince...
"


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Old 07-20-2013, 06:11 PM
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But had the Comte de Paris allowed his daughter to convert to CoE then Mary wouldn't have entered the equation as Eddy and Helene would have married and she would have been left to marry someone else - and yes George was still a possibility of course.
Very good point, although Britain still wouldn't have had a Catholic Queen, as Helene would have converted.
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