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Queen Victoria's Children Paperback – 15 Nov 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Revised ed. edition (15 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752454722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752454726
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Van der Kiste has made a particular study of British and European royalty. His previous books include William and Mary, Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz, Kaiser Wilhelm II, The Romanovc, Once a Grand Duchess (with Coryne Hall) and Childhood at Court 1819-1914.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 15 July 2004
Format: Paperback
After reading Jerrold Packard's book about the Queen's daughters, I was glad to be able to buy an updated edition of John Van der Kiste's work about all nine children. Daphne Bennett wrote one with the same title in 1980, but it only covered them until their marriages. This one covers the whole story from the birth of the Princess Royal in 1840 (with a prologue on the early life of Victoria and Albert) to the death of Beatrice in 1944. The spotlight falls individually on each in turn, in a way which I don't think anyone has attempted before. It's good to see the younger siblings getting some attention as well as their better-known elders - there can't be much more to say about the Empress Frederick or Edward VII. It's an entertaining portrait, written with warmth, sympathy, and soundly researched - and a book I for one will certainly treasure on my royalty bookshelves.
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Format: Paperback
John Van Der Kiste should be congratulated on this thoughtful and well written biography of Victoria and her children.
The book appears to be written emphatically and really conveys the heartbroken Queen Victoria as a deeply sad widow but at the same time sees her as a defiant politician during a turbulent time in history as well as being a proud, loving and protective Mother.
The pace of Van Der Kiste's book is perfect, dealing with each child in turn and allowing the reader to embrace each child's character, life and mainly the relationship with their mother.
A brilliant book that i read within days of buying it.
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The Victorian era was probably one of the most extraordinary in British History. The country went through enormous changes due to the impact of Industrialisation and Politic and Economic change. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert produced nine children and most of them had an impact not only on British History, but European History as well since many of them married into European Families such as the Hohenzollerns which had such an effect on the growing militarism leading to World War 1 in 1914. It must not be forgotten that Victoria's children were human, and they experienced the triumphs and tragedies which befall so many families. Indeed she outlived at least three of them, Alice, Leopold and Alfred who all died tragically young. And of course, her eldest son Bertie, Prince of Wales, whom she kept frustrated throughout most of his adult life by denying him a more important role in British and European affairs, became acknowledged as the Uncle of Europe and the Peacemaker of Europe. A fascinating volume, not an academic study though, very easy to read which will appeal to many readers who wish to find out more about the Victorian family. Supplemented with many good photographs too.
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Over many decades now, the Royal Family have always been put on a pedestal except perhaps during the past 20 years or so when a certain Diana Spencer married into the Royal Family in 1981. Of course, in Queen Victoria's time, media exposure of the sort to which we are acusstomed to nowadays did not exist. So the public came to acknowledge that the Royals, because they were remote figures, were special people with extraordinary talents. We now know of course this was not true. What books like this does though is convey to the reader is that the Royals are human just the same as we are. Of course, they are priviledged, but they are not immune to the ups and downs like so many of us are. In fact, they have the triumphs and tragedies same as we do although in a different manner. This book reveals the very human side of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's nine children, all of whom in more ways than one, had such influence on European History. Who could have known for example that upon Queen Victoria's death in January 1901, that two of her grandsons George V and Kaiser Wilhelm II and a blood relation Tsar Nicholas II would all become embroiled in a terrible European War in 1914? A fascinating book about a fascinating family. Armchair Historians would welcome this without a doubt. Very well researched and an easy to read format makes it a very good buy indeed.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book was my first experience of John Van der Kiste's work, and it goes without saying that I have read most of his other titles since. This book not only tells the story of nine fascinating siblings who went on to conquer their respective parts of the world, but also gives a detailed account of their mother's life as Queen and Empress of an Empire spanning the globe.

I would recommend this detailed and thoughtful biography to anyone- from the experienced historian to someone in need of bedtime reading material! Easy to understand and compelling throughout; whatever your intrest-however slight- should be satisfied with this magnificent multibiography.
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Van Der Kiste's little book Queen Victoria's children is well worth the read. Each child is not given his or her own chapter, but rather the book follows their lives chronologically and within the context of world affairs. All the children are given their due attention, and the focus is more on their personal lives, rather than their workings on the world stage. Yet, each child is seen through his faults and accomplishments, from birth to death. As I did not know so much about European history at the time, I learned a great deal from this book. I had always understood that Victoria and Albert were the perfect royal marriage, and Van Der Kiste suggests that perhaps Albert was not as in love with her as much as she was with him. Unfortunately, the book does not pay this issue too much attention, as its focus is on the children and not their marriage. However, Queen Victoria's relationship with all her children is analysed in great detail and we see her for both the good and not so good mother that she was. Her role as a mother is also negatively compared to the seemingly more nurturing of the two parents, Prince Albert. This book is great for those just beginning a study of this material and I highly recommend it. It is written well and is a fast read.
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