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Queen Victoria After Albert (Hardback)

Her Life and Loves

P&S History > British History P&S History > Royal History Women of History

By Ilana D Miller
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 25 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399099714
Published: 3rd October 2023


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Few British monarchs have fit the time, the tone or the energy of an era quite the way Queen Victoria mastered her reign.

From her ascension to the throne in 1837 to her death in 1901, her monarchy was one of spectacular advances in the British Empire. Political, scientific, and industrial wonders were changing the world. Britain's influence reached all corners of the earth.

But there was one area that particularly intrigued the Queen.


Keenly aware of the opposite sex, her most trusted advisors were men. Lord Melbourne, her first prime minister, was an avuncular presence. Then her beloved husband Prince Albert took the reins until his death in 1861.

In a widowhood of forty years, her ministers were a varied lot. She adored Disraeli, disliked Gladstone, and found genuine friendship with Lord Salisbury. Then there was Mr. Brown, the Scottish ghillie who she found wonderfully attractive. Later there was Abdul Karim, the Munshi, or teacher with whom she had a motherly relationship. She adored her son-in-law, Prince Henry of Battenberg, the 'sunshine of their lives' and was devastated when he died. She also loved her grandson-in-law, Prince Louis Battenberg, who was one of the executors of her will.

Those years without Albert were not barren loveless years, they were not without happiness and pleasure, even if the queen herself might protest.

I’ve long been a fan of Miller’s books about the monarchy and this one is no exception.
It’s a straightforward assessment of Queen Victoria’s life, emphasizing her years as a widow.
Miller does a good job of demonstrating the queen’s quirks and personality as she tangled and toiled with her nine children and passel,of grandchildren.
This book is a great start for anyone who has yet to be introduced to Victoria and her progeny because it offers a list of all the main characters and a host of pictures to associate with the names.
It’s an excellent beginning point to deep dive into the wondrous world of the House of Windsor’s ancestry.

NetGalley, Janilyn Kocher

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The book is the reconstruction of Queen Victoria's life after the death of her beloved husband. It's a fascinating read with a lot of new facts. Highly recommended.

NetGalley, Meg Gajda

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Four the forty years after the death of her beloved Prince Albert, Queen Victoria led a reclusive life of widowhood. Or did she? This book reveals her relationship with her children and grandchildren, with her prime ministers, and with her favorites of the court. The book is intriguing, thorough, and easy to read.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

Most people know Queen Victoria as a little woman dressed in black, mournful and secluded for forty years after the death of her husband Prince Albert in 1861.
The truth, as Ilana Miller writes, is rather different.
The book begins with a good summary of Victoria’s life up to Albert’s death, where we meet the Queen’s first prime minister, Lord Melbourne. He became rather a father figure to Victoria replacing the father she never knew.
Albert’s death in 1861 was followed by six long years of virtual seclusion, mourning ‘the lynchpin of her life’ on whom she had depended for everything. She indulged her grief for years, only opening parliament when she needed grants for her children, and the court had to find a way of getting her out of it.
The answer proved to be the handsome Scottish ghillie John Brown, brought from Balmoral in 1864. He was a man she could rely on, her right-hand man but was often brusque, ill-mannered and drunk. They became so close that there were rumours that Victoria had secretly married him. Most unlikely, says Miller.
Brown and Victoria’s prime minister Benjamin Disraeli treated her like a woman, not a Queen. They became the Queen’s middle-aged ‘romances’ and pulled her out of deep mourning. Disraeli also restored her self-confidence.
Victoria was crushed when Brown died in 1883. Then in 1885 Princess Beatrice married Prince Henry of Battenberg. The Queen insisted they live with her and she loved having a man about the house again. He was ‘the sunshine of our home’ and his death devastated her.
In 1887 a new man arrived at court. Abdul Karim was an Indian servant. Victoria, who always had an eye for a handsome man, made him her Indian Secretary, to the dismay of the court and in the face of social and racial prejudice. She treated him like an affectionate son.
She formed a genuine friendship with her last prime minister, Lord Salisbury, who understood how to work with her.
Queen Victoria had nine children and forty-two grandchildren who married into the royal families of Europe, and we meet many of them in this book. There is a handy list of personages giving their relationship to the Queen, and several family trees.
If you know little about Queen Victoria, or just want to brush up on your knowledge, you can’t do better than to start with this this entertaining, informative, well-researched and well-written book.

Coryne Hall, Author of Queen Victoria and the Romanovs. Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust.

This was a really interesting book. There was so much info in here that I hadn’t heard about before.

NetGalley, Rebecca W

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It's the first book I've ever read on Queen Victoria, but I found it fascinating.
It does a good and brief introduction on her life before and during her marriage to Albert and then it evolves on a novelesque reconstruction of the years and events that followed after widowhood.

It's difficult to write about so many people that share names and are intertwined, but the author did an amazing work at putting everything together in a way that's easy to understand what you're reading.

I am now eager to learn more about Queen Victoria and her numerous offspring.

NetGalley, Sira Barbeito

‘Victoria should never have come to the throne.’

‘When she was born, she was somewhat far down the line of succession, but that line would very quickly shrink.’

Queen Victoria is one fascinating lady and one I want to do more research and reading on, especially after enjoying this book!

In this book you get to see Victoria in a more intimate light and you will be truly inspired by her.

After the death of Albert, Victoria is a completely different person, you can’t help but feel sorry for her loss.

Victoria seems like a nice/small women when in fact many were scared of her! And she was quite rude when it came to babies!

‘I don’t dislike babies, though I think very young ones rather disgusting…’

One to read for history, royal and Victorian readers.

NetGalley, Georgi Lvs Books

About Ilana D Miller

Ilana D. Miller is an Adjunct Professor of American History at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, as well as the Senior Editor of the European Royal History Journal. Her publishing credits include Reports from America: William Howard Russell and the American Civil War, TheFour Graces: Queen Victoria’s Hessian Granddaughters. She has co-authored with Arturo Beéche: Royal Gatherings I & IIThe Grand Dukes, Volume IThe Grand Ducal House of Hesse and lastly, Recollections: Victoria Marchioness of Milford Haven Formerly Princess Louis of Battenberg annotated and expanded by Mr Beéche and Ms Miller. She has authored several scholarly articles in historical magazines and journals as well as historical fiction. She is currently working on a biography of Princess Victoria Battenberg and with Mr Beéche she is working on the fourth book, Royal Gatherings III: 1940-1972. She lives in Los Angeles.

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