Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 17 December 2014
I enjoy reading anything about Queen Victoria and her family so wasn't going to avoid this book despite the reviews I had read.
It's important to read it as journalism not history. It is not fact and source based research (even without access to Archives you can still write "historically"). It's journalism where you pick and choose evidence to back up a good story.
Date errors may have been corrected in the paperback but I found the chronology often did not stack up.
As to the putative son, the author surmises that during a 4 month stay with the Royal Family he gets Louise pregnant quick enough for the pregnancy to become apparent (in pre test days) and for him to be dismissed. Now I can imagine he might be found in a compromising position with her and dismissed but that the fact of a pregnancy was known seems implausible.
I suspect the closed archives have more to do with the homosexual activities of her husband than any child she might have had. Since the book alleges she had many lovers I do find it odd she had no more children if indeed she had already had one - this is covered but I did not find the theory plausible. It seems more likely to me she was infertile. Either way the book is all about conjecture - which is fun and has its place.
I gave the book 3 stars because it is eminently readable and if that brings others to the fascinating stories around the family of Queen Victoria and into reading some "proper" history that is all to the good.
I will look out the earlier work which seems to be well thought of in some of the other reviews.