This work tells the love story of the royal couple against the changing background of 19th-century Germany. It looks at the differing political sympathies of the couple, revealed through letters, and re-examines the prevailing view that the domineering Vicky never bothered to conceal her distaste for everything Prussian and flaunting her sense of British superiority. In many ways ahead of her time, she was something of a pioneer feminist, refusing to accept the oft-accepted maxim that women were second-class citizens. Insufficient consideration has been given to her health and the possibility that her judgement and reason may sometimes have been affected, albeit mildly, by the family's inheritance of porphyria that led to the 'madness' of her great-grandfather George III.
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(198mm x 127mm x 23mm)
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Despite a slightly off-putting title, this well-written account of the marriage between Queen Victoria's beloved, spirited eldest daughter Vicky, and the more gentle, cautious Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, proves that the author thoroughly knows his subjects. Vicky's marriage to Fritz eerily mirrors that of Queen Victoria to her beloved Albert; both women lost the husbands they adored and spent the rest of their lives in mourning. Although this book follows the political situation at the time and reveals the sad irony of Fritz's triumphant accession as King just as he was about to die, the main strength of the book is the charting of his marriage to Vicky. Together the couple watch several of their children die in infancy, having nursed them devotedly; here, the distraught Princess attempts to save one of their sons from diphtheria: 'Vicky washed him with hot vinegar and water, changed his linen and clothes and put them all in a pail of carbolic water, wearing a mackintosh over her own clothes and spraying herself with carbolic acid before returning to the others to prevent the spread of infection'. The death of Prince Albert is slightly glossed-over in Van Der Kiste's book, but the effect on his daughter is movingly described, showing Vicky to be a devoted, selfless young woman of 21, tending to the devastated Queen Victoria over her own needs. With many deaths, disappointments and illnesses, this book could not have been a cheerful read, for it tells a tragic story, but also movingly conveys a testament to this genuinely loving marriage. (Kirkus UK)
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