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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918
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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 he was slightly more than that, 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 3 September 2014
Having enjoyed (in a limited sense because much of it wasn't true) Miss Croft's previous book on Victoria's second daughter Alice I ventured to try this book. It's more of the same. It relies on many of the same (limited) sources and rarely, if ever, questions those sources; most of them dairies and letters which were simply works of fiction (or a denial of the truth).

We know many of the dairies were actually fabricated, or heavily edited. Virtually everything the public thinks is true about Victoria is false: she had ten children (at least) not nine; none of the nine children after her marriage to Albert were by him; Albert was killed (once his purpose had been fulfilled) and didn't die in an accident). And that's for starters!

Still, as Hollywood has discovered, when people enjoy one piece of fictional rubbish they will almost certainly pay to enjoy a sequel. Hence we have this book. More fictional fodder nonsense purporting to be history. Miss Croft wouldn't know what real history was even if she found it in her underwear!

She does not even see the contradictions in her own statements. For example, she writes, "though she [Victoria] had given birth to nine [we know it was ten] children, she had NEVER BEEN FOND OF BABIES." (Capitals mine)

Another statement contradicts the fact that Victoria enjoyed her sex-life with Albert, but, "The early years of her marriage had, she claimed, been RUINED by frequent pregnancies." (Capitals mine)

Can anyone see the problem? The truth was that Victoria (and Albert, a homosexual Freemason) were used by the Rothschilds to produce children (nine being an occult number) to spread across Europe, thus controlling the monarchies of Europe in preparation for the many wars - especially World War I. Whether Lionel Rothschild (the real father of Victoria's children) actually had sex or used some kind of artificial insemination cannot be discussed here.

And of course, much later, we know that George VI didn't actually father Elizabeth and Margaret.

It was nice to see that (the late, great) Honrus Publicus got a negative mark for this review within TEN MINUTES of its publication. It was probably Croft or one of her cronies!

(I can't wait to read Becoming Queen. More of the same?)

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on 5 October 2014
Actually, I would give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could, but I will give it 4 here, simply because it is an easy read and if you've never read anything about any of the characters in the book, then it will be fun and quite interesting.

That said, if you have read anything about her grandchildren before, then there is really nothing new here. And despite what others have implied, I don't feel this is a great scholarly work. And the editing is particularly bad. I caught quite a few minor and a couple of major editing mistakes, which just makes the book seem unprofessional.

Although she updates you with a character list at the beginning of each chapter, it would have been far more helpful if she had included a full family tree, listing all Queen Victoria's children and grandchildren, even the ones that died.

It is not a bad book, really, but it is not a great one either. Would make for a nice light read at bedtime, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the topic.
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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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on 22 April 2014
It was with trepidation that I bought this book., I am not a great reader of history , but I enjoyed reading this from the start.
The fact that it was written in small chapters made it so much more interesting, and although I did know a reasonable amount about the Victorian Royal family I found members I had not heard of before.
It was a pity in such a large family that the same names were given repeatedly which I did find a bit confusing.
The Russian family and its tragic end was particularly well written.
I would reccomend this book to every one with the slightest interest in the Royal family it is well worth reading, I was sorry when it came to an end.
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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 12 January 2014
A well thought out approach to the granddaughters of Queen Victoria, where each chapter lists a summary of the particular family each one belongs to before detailing events of the girls lives. Appears odd at times but on hindsight is effective as so many of them were christened with the same name 'Victoria,' so it is easy to be confused if not familiar already with their place in history.

I had no trouble finishing this work which I found highly readable. Upon reflection the curse of haemophilia passed on from the Queen was just one of the deciding points for the extinction of most of the European royalty along with other factors of course, the time being ripe for Revolution and change. A good read.
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on 30 September 2015
There are a couple of weird reviews on this book which question the historical facts given. The book is written in a novelistic, very readable, style but the historical facts are well-researched and accurate. The author is entitled to take a personal point of view! Both this and the "grandsons" book obviously cover the same period, but the author manages to tell each event from a slightly different angle, so it's not too repetitive. If you read this too fast the names and titles become a blur.
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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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