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norwegianne 09-23-2005 04:46 PM

"Matriarch - Queen Mary and the House of Windsor" by Anne Edwards (1984)
 
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I just borrowed "Matriarch - Queen Mary and the House of Windsor" by Anne Edwards (William Morrow and Company, 1984), at the library and read through it. I hadn't read much about Queen Mary before, (but was inspired by Elspeth's avatar... ;)) so I went into it without much knowledge about her, even if I had somewhat more information on the royal family around her from reading other biographies.

I reacted a bit to several errors in the book (calling Queen Maud of Norway, Queen of Sweden, for example), mostly because, as I had little idea about Mary herself, it was hard to know how much of it was accurate and what might be errors.

What I liked, very much, was how easy it was to read, very fluent language, and how the author took the time to explain a bit of back history for almost everybody, even if it was just a footnote. Keeping tabs on the German relatives, among others, might have been hard otherwise. It was also quite informative how Queen Mary was never pictured as the picture-perfect person, the author quite clearly states that Queen Mary wasn't a maternal person, and doesn't try to portray her as one. She is, however portrayed as a highly-ambitious person, and my guess is that if she had been a non-royal today going after the throne as she did... she'd be called a lot of not nice things.

There were some amusing anecdotes, (Queen Mary collecting scrap metal like mad,during WWII and the farmer coming to get his plough back...;)) that were interesting to look into.

All in all, an interesting read, though there were certain things I reacted to as they didn't quite correspond with certain things I'd read in other biographies around the Norwegian royals, but I assume, partly, that it is the nationality of the authors playing in, and partly who the subject of the biographies really are.

v covers
reproduced for promotional purposes

Australian 09-24-2005 10:33 AM

thanks for the recommendation of the book norwegianne, it sounds interesting. I dont know much about Queen Mary but you now have me interested.

Thanks :)

iowabelle 09-24-2005 07:08 PM

norwegianne, what did it have to say about Queen Mary's kleptomania? I understood that Buckingham Palace had an understanding with merchants that the Queen patronized, that if things disappeared during a visit that the merchants should quietly send a bill.

norwegianne 09-24-2005 07:22 PM

It was said that it wasn't kleptomania. More a case of her seeing items that had belonged to the royal collections once upon a time, and insisting that the items be permanently lent back to the collections. It really didn't specify more than that...

Of course, that was just about items that had belonged to the royal collections, it didn't mention whether or not she did it with other items.

tiaraprin 10-17-2005 10:27 PM

I have read that when people found out Queen Mary was coming to visit they would hide all their prized possessions for she would hint and shame them into giving the item(s) by saying "I am caressing it with my eyes" and other statements.

I think Queen Mary was like this because of her penurious childhood with a mother who ran up enormous debts to the point that Queen Victoria exiled the Tecks to Italy for three years. Queen Mary never really knew "financial security" as she would define it befitting her status before her marriage.

emily62_1 12-21-2005 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by norwegianne
I just borrowed "Matriarch - Queen Mary and the House of Windsor" by Anne Edwards (William Morrow and Company, 1984), at the library and read through it. I hadn't read much about Queen Mary before, (but was inspired by Elspeth's avatar... ;)) so I went into it without much knowledge about her, even if I had somewhat more information on the royal family around her from reading other biographies.

I reacted a bit to several errors in the book (calling Queen Maud of Norway, Queen of Sweden, for example), mostly because, as I had little idea about Mary herself, it was hard to know how much of it was accurate and what might be errors.

What I liked, very much, was how easy it was to read, very fluent language, and how the author took the time to explain a bit of back history for almost everybody, even if it was just a footnote. Keeping tabs on the German relatives, among others, might have been hard otherwise. It was also quite informative how Queen Mary was never pictured as the picture-perfect person, the author quite clearly states that Queen Mary wasn't a maternal person, and doesn't try to portray her as one. She is, however portrayed as a highly-ambitious person, and my guess is that if she had been a non-royal today going after the throne as she did... she'd be called a lot of not nice things.

There were some amusing anecdotes, (Queen Mary collecting scrap metal like mad,during WWII and the farmer coming to get his plough back...;)) that were interesting to look into.

All in all, an interesting read, though there were certain things I reacted to as they didn't quite correspond with certain things I'd read in other biographies around the Norwegian royals, but I assume, partly, that it is the nationality of the authors playing in, and partly who the subject of the biographies really are.

From what I know, she has been a perfect Queen, a pefect wife, but a lousy mother.... Queen Alix was the 1 who spoiled and loved to bits her grandkids, thanx to God some1 did love those kids, and u should watch the DVD - The lost Prince- about Prince John...... I surely dislike this cold woman who was a distant cousin of her husband, a descendant of King George III, lost her husband to be the day before their wedding, and got married to his younger brother, the new Heir, in a few months from her fiancee''s untimely death.

Warren 12-21-2005 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emily62_1
I surely dislike this cold woman who was a distant cousin of her husband, a descendant of King George III, lost her husband to be the day before their wedding, and got married to his younger brother, the new Heir, in a few months from her fiancee''s untimely death.

It wasn't Princess May's idea to marry her late fiancÚ's brother, it was Queen Victoria's. In fact Princess May was said to be quite embarrassed about the whole thing, but Victoria had decided that May was to be the one and there wasn't much May could do to resist the pressure and expectation of the Queen and Princess Mary Adelaide. As it turned out, May was the perfect choice as a future Matriarch and she and George V, though not demonstrative, were a devoted couple.

ysbel 12-21-2005 09:43 AM

I wonder how accurate the book can be with the factual errors that Norwegianne pointed out - especially called Maud Queen of Sweden.

It may be a small error but pretty obvious if anyone with a good knowledge of royals had proofread the copy before it went to print. :confused:

Mary's family certainly was ambitious but I didn't know that May herself was. It seems pretty obvious why the marriage was advantageous to her family but I never figured out why the BRF settled on her as the chosen bride.

Did the book go into that?

auntie 12-21-2005 10:11 AM

Hi, Ive been away for a while and just come back, I was in the Queens Gallery in BPalace, 7.50 GBP entrance fee, (quite extravagant price!) and there was something mentioned there that was bought by King George and Queen Mary, something that had belonged to one of the Hanoverian kings and got lost over the years, how true is this claim?!

Warren 12-21-2005 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel
Mary's family certainly was ambitious but I didn't know that May herself was. It seems pretty obvious why the marriage was advantageous to her family but I never figured out why the BRF settled on her as the chosen bride.

Did the book go into that?

Yes. Queen Victoria thought that Princess May had "the right stuff". She was not as protected as one would think; she had seen a good slice of life with her larger-than-life mother, including the enforced stay in Italy to escape the creditors. She had a keen and reverential respect for the Monarchy, she would be a strong support for George, and she was no fool.

Elspeth 12-21-2005 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ysbel
I wonder how accurate the book can be with the factual errors that Norwegianne pointed out - especially called Maud Queen of Sweden.

It may be a small error but pretty obvious if anyone with a good knowledge of royals had proofread the copy before it went to print. :confused:

Mary's family certainly was ambitious but I didn't know that May herself was. It seems pretty obvious why the marriage was advantageous to her family but I never figured out why the BRF settled on her as the chosen bride.

Did the book go into that?

I think it's an informative but not necessarily authoritative book. It's an easier read than the official biography, but not as well researched. I think all her royaly books are fairly good introductions but not by any means the last word on the subject.

Elspeth 12-21-2005 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by auntie
Hi, Ive been away for a while and just come back, I was in the Queens Gallery in BPalace, 7.50 GBP entrance fee, (quite extravagant price!) and there was something mentioned there that was bought by King George and Queen Mary, something that had belonged to one of the Hanoverian kings and got lost over the years, how true is this claim?!

It's probably quite true; Queen Mary was well known for tracking down and buying royal-related artefacts and memorabilia.

tanya 03-03-2006 04:54 PM

are there any pictures of queen mary and any more inforamation about her?

rani 03-03-2006 05:23 PM

I read in another book about Queen Mary that she had a great curiosity about everything,coupled with great knowledge and taste in the arts. She had to suppress her tastes because the rest of the family,especially her husband simply didn't share her tastes.So she did have to make sacrifices for position.

Warren 03-04-2006 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tanya
are there any pictures of Queen Mary and any more information about her?

We have a thread for Queen Mary, King George V and their family, here. There are lots of pictures and information. :)

pgm1952 06-14-2011 10:16 PM

I have a pet theory that the idea that Queen Mary was a kleptomaniac was started by a handful of people (bitter aristocrats who resented her buying off their family heirlooms) who sought some type of vengence on her. She also frequented antique shops and reportedly paid full estimated prices for the objects she desired. Another point is she had to track down some good family emeralds to a mistress of her late brother and willingly paid to get them back, a kleptomaniac would have found an elaborate way to steal them, not including any go- betweens or neutral parties involved.


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