Queen Victoria: A Life of Contradictions
From the publishers:
In this [...] concise new biography Queen Victoria is shown as Britain's queen of contradictions. In her combination of regal vehemence and wifely submission; deep sentimentality and bombast; cultural imperialism and imperial compassion; fear of intellectualism and excitement at technology; romantic longing and prudishness, she became a spirit of the age to which she gave her name.
Victoria embraced photography, railway travel and modern art; she resisted compulsory education for the working classes and recommended for a leading women's rights campaigner ‘a good whipping'. She detested smoking and believed whole-heartedly in the health-giving properties of fresh air, strong draughts and cold. She may or may not have been amused.
Melbourne and Disraeli wooed her; Peel and Palmerston infuriated her; fatally Gladstone failed to ‘pet' her. She loved dancing and the opera and, in her mourning of Prince Albert, sought consolation in the poetry of Tennyson and a long exchange of letters between sovereign and Laureate. Meanwhile she reinvented the monarchy and wrestled with personal reinvention. She lived in the shadow of her mother and then under the tutelage of her husband: during her protracted widowhood she belatedly embraced self-reliance.
Fresh, witty and accessible, this [...] new book from Matthew Dennison gives a compelling assessment of Victoria's mercurial character and her impact, written with the irony, flourish and insight that this Queen and her rule so richly deserve.
Harper Collins website
Place and publisher: London: Harper Collins
Date of publication: 2013
This week’s book(s):
From the publishers:
"Re-create a royal menu at home with Royal Collection Trust's first-ever cookbook. Written by the Royal Chef and the Deputy Master of The Queen's Household, A Royal Cookbook presents four three-course menus adapted from those prepared in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace and served to guests of Her Majesty The Queen. [...] Over 50,000 people are welcomed to Buckingham Palace each year as The Queen's guests at State Banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and garden parties. For official royal occasions, many dishes are presented on porcelain from the Royal Collection, such as the magnificent Coronation Service, most recently used at the State Banquet for the President of the Republic of Korea in November 2013. One of the most ambitious china services ever produced by an English factory, it was commissioned by William IV from the Rockingham Works and first used at Queen Victoria's Coronation Banquet in 1838.
A Royal Cookbook also tells the story of royal dining through history; from the first recorded serving of 'ice cream' in England at the Garter Banquet for Charles II in 1671 to the thousands of dishes eaten at George IV's extravagant Coronation Banquet, including 160 tureens of soup and 400 jellies and creams."
Place and publisher: London: Royal Collection Trust
Date of publication: 2014
Number of pages: 120
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