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4.3 out of 5 stars87
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 31 July 2013
Have read a few books on Victoria's children but did not know a lot about her extended family.
The book is very interesting and really brings her family to life, all the arguments and troubles they had, and traumas.
Written in an easy to read way, one of the most interesting books I have read. Got very absorbed, and looked forward to going to bed to read it! Highly recommended.
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on 29 July 2013
Well written, with lots of references to original sources and correspondence, A useful reminder of the 'players' at the start of each chapter, which I found very helpful as the history unfolds. An eloquent writing style - very easy to read and understand.
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on 9 September 2013
This book is amazing, but thank goodness the author put a "crib" of nicknames at the beginning of each chapter, otherwise it would be unreadable - hence the 4 stars. The Romanov tragedy is well-told, and it was really interesting to know what happened to all the cousins in the end. Recommended.
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on 23 September 2013
There have been lots of books about Queen Victoria's children and grandchildren but this is by far the most interesting
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on 22 March 2013
I would highly recommend this book as it gives a fascinating incite into the lives of the European royal families in a period of history that was to lead to a war that would change leadership in Europe forever. Although there are a lot of family members to keep track of the author gives a quick recap at the start of each chapter. It also made me view Queen Victoria in a different light due to her relationships with her grandchildren. I felt the book made history more personal and accessible.
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on 7 June 2013
An interesting and informative read, similar to other books about Queen Victoria's children. It makes a change to focus on the women of the families and their role in major events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Each chapter included a list of the people covered in that chapter and their relationships, which was very helpful, because there were a lot of them, often with similar names. If you enjoyed Queen Victoria's Children or A Hessian Tapestry you will enjoy this.
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on 5 June 2014
I found the book very detailed and interesting. With so many members of the extended Royal Family, the similarity of names can be confusing. No doubt this is why they were mostly known by their nicknames. Each member has her own chapter, although being family they all flit all over the place in the book. Each chapter, however, starts off with a list of the chapter's 'cast' as it were, and this is very helpful for my memory at least. I am sure it will also provide useful reference for many years.Congrats to Ms Croft for all the research and effort, which has had to be done, to produce a book on what I consider to be a very difficult subject.
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on 28 June 2013
This book was most interesting and proved that money and prestige do not always give happiness. There was an interesting chapter on Prince Albert's final illness. Food for thought on that. One or two errors I spotted but on the whole well worth reading.
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on 10 March 2014
For someone so interested in such a relatively esoteric subject as Queen Victoria's granddaughters, I was excited to receive the book, and indeed enjoyed it; it's hardly exhaustive (and couldn't be with so many varied characters), but it gives a good intro.
However, never had I before felt more compelled to take a pencil and correct a book than with this one! First of all, the punctuation is dreadful with random commas and articles thrown about everywhere, words repeated next to each other, or words simply missing from the text; furthermore, the *-symbol indicating footnotes was miniscule; indeed, I barely even knew where in the text to find it until I read the footnote and located the relevant place myself! I therefore presume editing was non-existent!

Punctuation would be excusable if there weren't some glaring factual errors too. I won't list them all, but some of the most glaring concern the Spanish Royal Family:
1) referring to Spain's King as Alfonso XVIII when, in reality, he was XIII;
2) saying he was 'eleven years' his wife's senior when, in fact, he was one;
3) claiming that his wife, Queen Victoria Eugenia, was helped from her bridal carriage (almost destroyed by a terrorist bomb on her wedding day) by her cousin Toria of Wales when I have never read any proof of this, and indeed why someone as relatively low in the Royal ranking as Victoria of Wales would have been in a carriage near the Royal Couple is ludicrous;
4) referring to Alfonso XIII's cousin Infante Alfonso of Bourbon-Orleans as 'Bourbon-Lyons' (a title that - as far as I know - doesn't exist);
5) calling the heir to the Spanish Throne 'Prince of the Astorias' (instead of Prince of Asturias) as if he were heir to a New-York borough and not a whole state;
6) claiming that since Alfonso XIII's heir was haemophiliac and therefore 'unhealthy', he was simply 'struck from the succession' when, in reality, this happened after his morganatic marriage and the declaration of the Second Spanish Republic deprived him of his position;
7) claiming that the Royal Couple's third daughter, Infanta Beatriz, was a haemophiliac carrier when none of her descendants has yet suffered from the disease;
8) stating that the Royal Couple's fourth child was a haemophiliac and died soon after his birth when, in reality, Infante Fernando had died in the womb and was born dead, his mother Victoria Eugenia having been forced to carry the baby to term by the rigid Spanish Court.

The author also - and these will be the last examples (I promise!) - dismisses Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein as 'heir to an estate in Silesia' when his Duchy of S-H is nowhere that region, and she calls Tsar Alexander II's wife 'Maria Feodorovna' when she was Maria Alexandrovna.

The author therefore has her facts wrong about a few European Dynasties, and all of the above are too outrageous to be simple mistakes: they give the impression that the author was lazy and merely invented information or didn't look into it far enough to fill in facts she didn't know; the book seems more like someone's hastily-pencilled notes than a serious piece of Literature. Genuinely shocked and annoyed at such sloppy writing, I will have second thoughts about purchasing any more of her works.
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on 25 April 2013
A highly interesting and easy to read account of the descendents of Queen Victoria. We learn of their childhoods, hopes and dreams - and for many of them, of their tragedies. Sadly, by Victoria's insistence on most of her grandchildren marrying each other and spreading across Europe, rather than following her late husband's advice of introducing "strong dark blood" into the family line, this allowed various illnesses to be passed onto the extended family - the most damaging being the haemophilia which wrecked such serious political consequences on the Russian Imperial family. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the various characters - there are so many Princesses, Grand Dukes and so on with variations of the same names but the author has handily provided a guide to who is who at the beginning of each chapter. However, for me, the personalities of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Alice and her daughters - especially Victoria and Ella - stand out more than any of the others in the book (by the way, this the line Prince Philip is descended from). Their resiliance and faith, their response to adversity is truely awe-inspiring. Recommended.
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