Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Book Review: Queen Victoria

By Megan Marshall in the NYT Sunday Book Review:
Now Gillian Gill has done it: follow up a distinctive portrait of Florence Nightingale, England’s sainted Lady With the Lamp, with a magisterial treatment of Queen Victoria. It’s the one-two punch of 19th-century British biography.

In “We Two,” Gill aims in the opposite direction: the Queen Victoria she gives us in this closely drawn portrait of a royal marriage is a more ordinary woman than we might have supposed. The longest-ruling monarch in British history suffered greatly under what the queen herself called “the yoke” of matrimony, enduring nine pregnancies in the first two decades of her reign — which left her an outsider at her own court, relegated to the “shadow side” of life ...

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