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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was Anyone Ever This Selfless?
Princess Beatrice gave up her private life, her health and most of her happiness in order to be the secretary, confidante and companion of her widowed mother. Starting with the death of her father, Prince Albert, when she was only four years old, her life was a constant reminder of funereal gloom. As her older sisters married and moved away, Princess Beatrice became the...
Published on 19 Aug. 2008 by Graceann Macleod

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book great but
Book great but this version of it was completely missing the pictures/photos that were listed at the start of the book.
Published on 6 Mar. 2013 by D Sedgwick


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was Anyone Ever This Selfless?, 19 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter (Hardcover)
Princess Beatrice gave up her private life, her health and most of her happiness in order to be the secretary, confidante and companion of her widowed mother. Starting with the death of her father, Prince Albert, when she was only four years old, her life was a constant reminder of funereal gloom. As her older sisters married and moved away, Princess Beatrice became the Queen's slave in most matters public and private. Such was the Queen's paranoia that her youngest daughter might grow up and want a life of her own, she forbade all talk of marriage in front of the Princess, and punished the girl by not speaking to her for eight months when she dared to fall in love and announced her wish to wed. The marriage was only allowed to go forward, and the Princess forgiven, when the couple agreed to live with the Queen for their married life, with very limited travel (their honeymoon lasted only five days, and the Queen visited for two of them).

I don't think I'd realized just how selfish Queen Victoria was until I read this meticulously researched volume. Princess Beatrice was a far more forgiving and patient woman than I could have ever been, and I veer between being in awe of her, and pitying her.

Matthew Dennison's writing style takes a while to get used to - sometimes he moves back and forth in eras and you have to go back in order to determine just what time frame he's referring to. The text is at times dangerously close to "scholarly" and for this alone I give the book four stars instead of five. I do recommend it, however, for the insights it gives into this complex, frustrating relationship.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the shadow of the Queen - the life of the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria rediscovered, 28 Jan. 2007
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Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter (Hardcover)
HRH The Princess Beatrice was the youngest daughter and child of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort and the last of their children of die. She was married to Prince Henry of Battenberg and mother of four children: one of them Ena became Queen of Spain (the present Spanish King's grandmother). Her real historical significance however lies in the editing of Queen Victoria's journal.

Beatrice spends most of her life in the shadow of the Queen, during the Queen's lifetime but as well after her death. More than any other of the Queen's children Beatrice was absolutely dominated by her mother. This biography is therefore as well a biography on Queen Victoria and a mother-daughter relationship. Matthew Dennison delivers quite a psychological portrait of Beatrice - the effects on her by her mother's domineering and quite selfish behaviour. Therefore, it might be just that why during the book not very much emerges about Princess Beatrice herself. To a certain extend she remains a personality very difficult to grab and I suppose that is what she exactly was. There is an element of pity one feels for her. Matthew Dennison is not abstaining from criticism, especially as the does not have been a very good mother, putting her mother always first, even before her own children. The book is anyway very weak on the relationship of The Princess with her children. Her eldest son Drino Lord Carisbrooke who was pompous and effeminate or as diarist James Lees-Milne put it "really and old queen" and of whom the PoW said in 1919 "I hear that Irene Carisbrooke is great with child and Drino has retired to bed for the duration". Hardly any words on granddaughter Iris, who married for the first time in 1941 and therefore during Princess Beatrice`s lifetime.

All in all, it is lovely that after nearly 50 years a new biography of the Princess has been published and her relationship with the Queen thoroughly exposed and examined. Rightly Dennison sums up: that she was an essential component in the smooth-running of Victoria's queenship. I enjoyed this book very much as it complemented my studies of the rule and personality of Queen Victoria perfectly. For all who are interested in this period it will add much to the understanding of Queen Victoria. All in all: a book to be recommended.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable, 8 April 2007
By 
Kitten (Nottingham / GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter (Hardcover)
I enjoyed reading this book very much, though I don't think I learned much that was new about the Princess. Like most biographies of Queen Victoria's children, the bulk of the book was about the princess's life when her mother was alive. I wanted to know much, much more about the period after the Queen's death. Certain areas , of course, are touched on, for example the death of the Prince Maurice in action in 1914, and also of the marriage of the Princess Ena to the king of Spain, but I would have liked more detail about the final years. Maybe there's no documentation to hand?? I would recommend this book though - one of the better royal books of recent years.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Princess Beatrice, 17 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. Beatrice, although the youngest and, to some contemporary views, of the least dynastic importance, certainly played the most important role to the Queen of all her children.

The book is easy to read yet does not gloss over the facts. It is honest and frank, although I would have liked to know more about the sometimes strained relationship she shared with her sister Louise. What I particularly enjoy about biographies about Queen Victoria's children is that it opens up a whole new facet of her character, as it is true to say that her relationship with each one was so remarkably different. Beatrice's biography gives excellent examples of the best and the worst of Victoria's personality traits. It also gives excellent background information for anyone wishing to read further about Beatrice's daughter Victoria-Eugenie, who became Queen of Spain.

In short I thoroughly recommend this book. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book great but, 6 Mar. 2013
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Book great but this version of it was completely missing the pictures/photos that were listed at the start of the book.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Princess, 19 Jan. 2007
By 
G Best (Swansea, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter (Hardcover)
A delightful book; although an enjoyable and easy read, it has clearly been widely and carefully researched, and provides challengingly thoughtful ideas about this princess who has been much ignored by history. An intriguing portrait of the retiring, dominated Beatrice, but just as interesting for its portrayal of Queen Victoria. The complexity and contradictions of the Queen's character are particularly well explored, with many insights which I have not come across in previous books about the monarch. A 'must' for anyone interested in the era, and well worth the price. Treat a friend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatrice, 13 Feb. 2013
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The Last Princess as a lover of the history of our Royal Family i loved this book about Princess Beatrice it is well written
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Princess Beatrice: Queen Victoria Unpaid Servant, 25 Sept. 2014
By 
Kevin Daly (Co. Meath, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book greatly. Matthew Dennison is an excellent writer and clearly very articulate. I read this book quickly and with a nice flow, it wasn't boring and I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Victoria and Beatrice. The title is ideal and I really felt that it was a perfect fit, she was the last princess of her family, of an age and the last in every situation. It includes some good pictures and has some juicy dirty details.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the shadow of the Queen - the life of the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria rediscovered, 14 Jan. 2008
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
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HRH The Princess Beatrice was the youngest daughter and child of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort and the last of their children of die. She was married to Prince Henry of Battenberg and mother of four children: one of them, Princess Ena, became Queen of Spain (the present Spanish King's grandmother). Her real historical significance however lies in the editing of Queen Victoria's journal.

Beatrice spends most of her life in the shadow of the Queen, during the Queen's lifetime but as well after her death. More than any other of the Queen's children Beatrice was absolutely dominated by her mother. This biography is therefore as well a biography on Queen Victoria and a mother-daughter relationship. Matthew Dennison delivers quite a psychological portrait of Beatrice - the effects on her by her mother's domineering and quite selfish behaviour. Therefore, it might be just the reason why during this book not very much emerges about Princess Beatrice herself. To a certain extend she remains a personality very difficult to grab. There is an element of pity one feels for her. Matthew Dennison is not abstaining from criticism, especially as the does not have been a very good mother, putting her mother always first, even before her own children.

The book however is too weak on the relationship of The Princess with her husband and children. Her eldest son Drino Lord Carisbrooke who was pompous and effeminate or as diarist James Lees-Milne put it "really and old queen" and of whom the PoW said in 1919 "I hear that Irene Carisbrooke is great with child and Drino has retired to bed for the duration". Hardly any words on granddaughter Iris, who married for the first time in 1941 and therefore during Princess Beatrice`s lifetime.

All in all, it is lovely that after nearly 50 years a new biography of the Princess has been published and her relationship with the Queen thoroughly exposed and examined. Rightly Dennison sums up: that she was an essential component in the smooth-running of Victoria's queenship. I enjoyed this book very much as it complemented my studies of the rule and personality of Queen Victoria perfectly. For all who are interested in this period it will add much to the understanding of Queen Victoria. All in all: a book to be recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and informative, 21 Jan. 2013
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A great read for those fascinated by queen Victoria and her family. The content and detail is brilliant. My only gripe with this book was that it jumps forward and back in time, spoilt the story somewhat.
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