Queen Victoria and her eldest daughter Vicky exchanged a voluminous correspondence that lasted for 43 years. Victoria was 39 when her daughter left home as the bride of Prince Frederick of Prussia. Each became the other’s confidante, discussing details not recorded in official histories. The Queen dislikes wearing the Koh-i-noor diamond; disapproves of colonial expansion; and is furious that the Irishman who attempted to assassinate her is given ‘the lightest sentence possible!’. The Crown Princess is desperate to try ‘electrical treatments’ for her son’s withered arm, but forbidden to do so by doctors, and is anguished by newspaper depictions of her as anti-Prussian.
These letters, which in their entirety extend to six volumes, have long been acknowledged as one of the most valuable resources available to historians. Following Andrew Roberts’s enthusiastic suggestion, The Folio Society has commissioned a single-volume edition. Roberts himself selected and edited the most absorbing letters, and contributed explanatory notes, a chronology and miniature ‘Life of Vicky’. Our edition also includes a truly exceptional index, and a magnificent roll-out genealogy, which shows the complex interrelation of royal families, and highlights Victoria’s position as the ‘grandmother of Europe’.
‘Queen Victoria was an indefatigable letter-writer: direct, honest, occasionally gossipy and amusing, and, because of her subject matter, always interesting. She wrote mainly about family matters and high politics, which because her extended family sat on most of the thrones of Europe at the time, were impossible to disentangle. No great political, military or dynastic event of the period between her daughter Vicky’s wedding in 1858 and her own death in 1901 – only seven months before Vicky’s own - escaped her comment. The intimate interaction between the political and the personal therefore forms the main fascination and historical importance of this correspondence; the pleasure derives from the sheer quality of the writing of these two brave, spirited and intelligent women.’
Review by wjcarter on 17th Oct 2012
"This is a fascinating insight into the way European royalty lived and thought in the second half of the 19th century. The letters between mother (Queen Victoria) and her daughter (Vicky - the German e..." [read more]