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Queen Victoria's Youngest Son: The Untold Story of Prince Leopold [Paperback]

Charlotte Zeepvat
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 July 2005
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-84), is acknowledged to have been the most intelligent and, in the words of one writer, 'by far and away the most interesting' of Queen Victoria's four sons. He was a strong-willed, attractive character, with an immense thirst for life. He was also, however, the first royal haemophiliac and suffered continual ill health: in addition to haemophilia, Leopold suffered from epilepsy. A compelling human story which also touches on the wider worlds of late nineteenth-century Oxford and of literature, art and politics in the Victorian period, it examines the question of haemophilia and the royal family from a new angle, at the first appearance of the condition. For example, when did the Queen and Prince Albert realise that their youngest son was ill and how much did they understand of his illness? The book also presents a full and balanced picture of Leopold's relationship with his mother, looking beyond snapshots of individual quarrels between mother and son. Finally, it examines Leopold's life at Oxford, the varied and interesting friendships he developed there with Lewis Carroll, John Ruskin and Oscar Wilde; his political views; and the importance of his work as unofficial secretary to the Queen.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd; New Ed edition (21 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750937912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750937917
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Charlotte Zeepvat is a freelance writer and Deputy Editor of the magazine Royalty Digest. She is the author of Queen Victoria's Family, Romanov Autumn, The Camera and the Tsars and Royal Governesses. She lives in Sussex.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 19 Jan 2001
By A Customer
I have read several books about Queen Victoria and her family but have never got to know much about Prince Leopold's life and personality. I only knew him as the youngest son who suffered from haemophilia, the princess he married and his children. This book has revealed so much more to me, his friends, the frustrations he suffered when ill and his mothers lack of understanding. I particularly found the chapters that dealt with the brief spell of happiness he had when married very moving and it seemed such a shame that he died so suddenly.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars scholarly and well-researched 8 Jan 1999
By A Customer
A thoroughly researched book and an excellent read! From other books on this subject Prince Leopold is often depicted as Queen Victoria's favourite son. This book gives the true picture, however, of an unhappy, epileptic, haemophiliac young man living as a virtual prisoner in a gilded cage, subject to his august mother's every whim and order. A picture of a thoroughly miserable, wretched Royal existence emerges. Leopold's romances with Lady Breadalbane and Princess Frederica could have given more space - one longs to hear more details, though the Prince's relationship with his siblings is dealt with in great detail. My only minor criticism is the dustjacket - with so many portraits and photographs at the author's disposal, I find her own drawings a rather self-indulgent and unnecessary touch. I think this book is a most welcome addition to the library of all Queen Victoria devotees!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Informative Book on an Overlooked Prince 13 May 1999
By A Customer
The children of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort have been treated unequally by biographers. Prince Leopold is probably the most "unknown" son of the couple. Therefore, it is refreshing that Charlotte Zeepvat has decided to raise the profile of this prince. You would not need to be a history buff to enjoy this book. You get a sense of the frustration that Leopold suffered and his attempt to live a more "normal" life, both free of molly-codling, illness and the royal way of life. I would recommend this book to you.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The best of the lot had to go first - this line said after the death of Princess Diana came into my mind when reading the biographie on Prince Leopold.

Prince Leopold George Duncan Albert, Duke of Albany, was the youngest son and secong youngest child of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. Born at Buckingham Palace 7 April 1853 he died already in Cannes 28 March 1884, only two years after his marriage to Helene Princess zu Waldeck and Pyrmont (1861-1922). They had two children: Princess Alice (later the Countess of Athlone) was born 1883 and a son Prince Charles( later to be the sovereign Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha)was born after his father' s death in July 1884.

One might be tempted to say that not much can be written about one of the younger princes who only happen to live 31 odd years.

And indeed it seems that most of his siblings have a much higher profile as the Duke of Albany: Edward VII. as King, Victoria as the Empress Frederick, Alice as Grand Duchess of Hesse, Alfred as Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the Duke of Connaught as the Queen's favorite son. Only his sisters Helena and Beatrice - like him - seem to less well known. The only thing setting him apart: He was the first member of the royal family suffering from haemophilia.

The well-known author on royalty, Charlotte Zeepvat, has in this excellent rediscoverd this "lost prince". Only too often Leopold was reduced to somebody being sick, to be shield and over-protected by his royal mother. He had too struggle to lead a normal life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unsung Hero. 4 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This biography of Prince Leopold is outstanding in its detailed account of this deeply sensitive man. Charlotte Zeepvat has explored every avenue of his life, and in doing so allows us to encounter him on many different levels, thereby revealing a wonderful, resilient and very fine human being. His struggle to break free from his imperious and dictatorial mother is told with enormous insight, but makes heartrending reading. A really great biography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 18 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Did not know much about the Prince, well researched and well written. Would recommend to any one who enjoys the Victorian period.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leopold. 24 Dec 2012
I wanted to read this book for ages. I snapped it up here, and read it in hours when it arrived. An interesting story, from the point of view of which little is written about. If you love history, then this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prince Leopold 2 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a Queen Victoria follower this is a wonderful insight on how life was during the 1800's. His life was governed by her and along with his health concerns it was tragically short. An interesting story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read it in two days. She was really possisive.
Published 8 hours ago by g gadsden
3.0 out of 5 stars The untold story of Prince Leopold
It gives the reader a view into the royal family in Victorian time's and an understanding of their struggle to recognize their youngest sons disability, on a lighter note it also... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Gail Flynn
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Did not finish the book
Published 4 days ago by Walden
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb read.
This is fascinating. I knew nothing about Prince Leopold before I read Zeepvat's book. What is so impressive is that the author brings to life every character, so that not only is... Read more
Published 7 days ago by T. R. Cattell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good reading
Published 11 days ago by veronica malim
3.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed, without so much analysis of the situation ...
Very detailed, without so much analysis of the situation surrounding the immediate family. Illuminating in that I had not realised just how tight a grip Victoria had on her family,... Read more
Published 11 days ago by David Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable
A facinating book which gave great insight both to Leopold and his life and friends - but also to a time and rule from which we have thankfully moved away.
Published 11 days ago by Henny
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
still prodding through this, infomative, but a bit boring
Published 15 days ago by Maureen
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor lonely Prince Leopold
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt very sorry for the young prince Leopold. I wanted him to be happier and have some good friends. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Anapprentice
5.0 out of 5 stars A most interesting biography.
I found this biography totally absorbing. I couldn`t put it down. I knew absolutely nothing about Prince Leopold. What a brave young man. Read more
Published 20 days ago by M.M, Pleming
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