Beatrice was the last child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her father died when she was four and as Matthew Dennison relates Victoria came to depend on her youngest daughter absolutely, but she also demanded from her complete submission.
It is an enthralling story, not just of a mother/daughter relationship, but of a Queen and subject relationship. Victoria was not above laying it down regally even with her own children.
Beatrice succumbed to her mother's obsessive love, so that by the time she was in her late teens she was her constant companion and running her mother's office, which meant that when Victoria died her daughter became literary executor, a role she conducted with teutonic thoroughness. She edited and bowdlerised her mother's Journal that cover 70 years and where possible her voluminous correspondence.
But thank goodness Beatrice inherited some of her mother's more steely qualities. Although Victoria tried to prevent Beatrice even so much as thinking of love, her guard slipped when Beatrice was 29. Perhaps Victoria thought she was over the hill, but Beatrice met Liko, Prince Henry of Battenberg, and fell in love. As Dennison puts it: hers was a 'hard-won victory of love over family prejudice, political relactance and, most significantly, Queen Victoria's opposition.'
Sadly, Beatrice inherited from her mother the haemophilia gene, which she passed on to two of her four sons and which her daughter Victoria Eugenia, in marrying Alfonso XIII of Spain, in turn passed on to the Spanish royal family.
Beatrice, however, did not end up simply as a wife and mother. She loved music and composed a military march which remains in the repertoire of British regimental bands, she sang and she painted.
Dennison sums up: 'she was an essential component in the smooth-running of Victoria's queenship. This new exmaination will restore her to her proper prominence -as Queen Victoria's second consort.'
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Matthew Dennison has written Beatrice's biography as though it was a novel, which must be the best way to treat a life which was so much more a matter of feeling than incident. This is an engaglingly sympathetic, balanced and intelligent biography which trimphantly succeeds in bringing to live the princess who, ever since the age of four, has been in the shadow of her mother. (JANE RIDLEY THE SPECTATOR)
An engrossing biography of Queen Victoria's youngest daughter that focuses on her relationship with her wilful mother. Beautifully written. ( TATLER)
Dennison emerges as a natural storyteller, succeeding in the difficult task of turning a relatively uneventful, acquiescent life into a hugely satisfying biography. The Last Princess is emotionally sympathetic and beautifully written, its detail meticulous... a confident and disarmingly impressive debut (KATE COLQUHOUN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
This is an old fashioned biography about an old-fashioned subject. At a time when non-fiction writers are desperately thinking up fancy new ways to tell stories, there¿s something rather comforting about a narrative that has no embarassment in starting at the beginning. (KATHRYN HUGHES THE GUARDIAN)
It is an enthralling story, not just of a mother-daughter relationship but that of a monarch and her favourite subject. ( MAJESTY MAGAZINE - BOOK OF THE MONTH)
the fascinating and somewhat asphyxiating relationship between the Queen and her daughter Beatrice. ( VOGUE)
Kathryn Hughes in THE GUARDIAN: 'This is an old fashioned biography about an old-fashioned subject. At a time when non-fiction writers are desperately thinking up fancy new ways to tell stories, there's something rather comforting about a narrative that has no embarassment in starting at the beginning.' JANE RIDLEY THE SPECTATOR: "Matthew Dennison has written Beatrice's biography as though it was a novel, which must be the best way to treat a life which was so much more a matter of feeling.' (MIRANDA SEYMOUR SUNDAY TIMES)
Matthew Dennison has researched assiduously in the Royal Archives at Windsor. He writes well. (MARK BOSTRIDGE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
¿Dennison tells a sorry, complex story with tact and sympathy¿ ( THE TIMES)
Matthew Dennison paints a sympathetic portrait of a rather lonely child who eventually found love and fought for the right to marry the man she loved while never leaving her mother. ( BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE)
A colourful peephole into Victorian times, as well as the peculiar ways of royalty. ( THE HERALD)
leaves no psychological stone unturned ( MAIL ON SUNDAY)
¿Dennison¿s biography is an engrossing tale of a mother and daughter who were also a queen and her subject.¿ ( THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE)
Queen Victoria's favourite child - the true story of a royal mother-daughter relationship that changed history
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Descrizione libro St. Martin's Press, 2007. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0297847945
Descrizione libro St. Martin's Press, 2007. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0297847945