Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Lytton Strachey

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Dimensioni: 958,85 KB
  • EAN: 9788832555943
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This is the definitive biography of Britain’s greatest monarch, who “was hailed at once as the mother of her people and as the embodied symbol of their imperial greatness.” “One of the surpassingly beautiful prose achievements of our time” (Chicago Daily News). 

 It is quite short when one considers that it covers the longest reign in English History and the life of a monarch who lived 81 years. It works because Strachey focuses on the personality relationships that dominated that period--all of which centered upon the Queen. Thus we find chapters dealing with Lord Melbourne, Prince Albert (Chapters 4 through 6}, Lord Palmerston {in conjunction with the Prince Consort} Gladstone and Disraeli. In The central section the dominant character is Prince Albert and he is an enormously interesting character. While Strachey gives the Prince his due as an intelligent, clever man, he also presents him with considerable irony and implies that the early death of Albert was the best thing that could have happened to the Monarchy. 

After his death the story of Victoria is rather quickly told. Here, Strachey merely sketches--perhaps purposely--some quite interesting moments, especially the strange relationship between the straight-laced Queen and her servant, the burly, impolite whisky drinker John Brown who became her favourite at Balmoral Castle. 

There have always been rumours that Victoria secretly made a morganatic marriage with the Scotsman. When he died she seemed to regard his death as on a par with that of the Prince Consort. She filled the castle with mementos of him and even raised a life-sized statue in remembrance at Balmoral. Brown was hated by Victoria's son, who later became Edward VI. When he took the throne he eliminated all the mementos of John Brown and moved the statue to a nearly inaccessible part of the estate. You can still see it but it helps to get someone with local knowledge to guide you to the location. 

But the relationship may not have had any actual romantic element at all. Another reason that Victoria had such an interest in John Brown was owing to the fact that he was psychic and was supposedly able to contact the Prince Consort during seances. If this is true, then it would explain a great deal--including the remarkable liberties the queen allowed in the conduct of John Brown. 
 
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