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Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy
Author: Helen Rappaport
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
As she did in her critically acclaimed The Last Days of the Romanovs, Helen Rappaport brings a compelling documentary feel to the story of this royal marriage and of the queen's obsessive love for her husband – a story that began as fairy tale and ended in tragedy. After the untimely death of Prince Albert, the queen and her nation were plunged into a state of grief so profound that this one event would dramatically alter the shape of the British monarchy. For Britain had not just lost a prince: during his twenty year marriage to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert had increasingly performed the function of King in all but name. The outpouring of grief after Albert's death was so extreme, that its like would not be seen again until the death of Princess Diana 136 years later. Drawing on many letters, diaries and memoirs from the Royal Archives and other neglected sources, as well as the newspapers of the day, Rappaport offers a new perspective on this compelling historical psychodrama--the crucial final months of the prince's life and the first long, dark ten years of the Queen's retreat from public view. She draws a portrait of a queen obsessed with her living husband and – after his death – with his enduring place in history. Magnificent Obsession will also throw new light on the true nature of the prince's chronic physical condition, overturning for good the 150-year old myth that he died of typhoid fever.
From Dr Annie Gray, presenter of BBC2's Victorian Bakers What does it mean to eat like a queen? Elizabeth gorged on sugar, Mary on chocolate and Anne was known as 'Brandy Nan'. Victoria ate all of this and more. The Greedy Queen celebrates Victoria's appetite, both for food and, indeed, for life. Born in May 1819, Victoria came 'as plump as a partridge'. In her early years she lived on milk and bread under the Kensington system; in her old age she suffered constant indigestion yet continued to over-eat. From intimate breakfasts with the King of France, to romping at tea-parties with her children, and from state balls to her last sip of milk, her life is examined through what she ate, when and with whom. In the royal household, Victoria was surrounded by ladies-in-waiting, secretaries, dressers and coachmen, but below stairs there was another category of servant: her cooks. More fundamental and yet completely hidden, they are now uncovered in their working environment for the first time. Voracious and adventurous in her tastes, Queen Victoria was head of state during a revolution in how we ate - from the highest tables to the most humble. Bursting with original research, The Greedy Queen considers Britain's most iconic monarch from a new perspective, telling the story of British food along the way.
Through an examination of Tennyson's 'domestic poetry' - his portrayals of England and the English - in their changing nineteenth-century context, this book demonstrates that many of his representations were 'fabrications', more idealized than real, which played a vital part in the country's developing identity and sense of its place in the world.
The story of the queen who defied convention and defined an era A passionate princess, an astute and clever queen, and a cunning widow, Victoria played many roles throughout her life. In Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life, Lucy Worsley introduces her as a woman leading a truly extraordinary life in a unique time period. Queen Victoria simultaneously managed to define a socially conservative vision of Victorian womanhood, while also defying its conventions. Beneath her exterior image of traditional daughter, wife, and widow, she was a strong-willed and masterful politician. Drawing from the vast collection of Victoria’s correspondence and the rich documentation of her life, Worsley recreates twenty-four of the most important days in Victoria's life. Each day gives a glimpse into the identity of this powerful, difficult queen and the contradictions that defined her. Queen Victoria is an intimate introduction to one of Britain’s most iconic rulers as a wife and widow, mother and matriarch, and above all, a woman of her time.
This book covers all aspects of the Queen's official and private life, giving details on her children and friends, her personal interests, the events that marked her era, and the Prime Ministers and various other persons whose lives were affected by their relationship with the Queen.
On 23 February 1854, the Scots Fusilier Guards marched past Buckingham Palace resplendent in full regalia en route to the Crimea, as Queen Victoria bowed and waved proudly from the balcony. Day after day, there were anxious farewells as husbands, sons, and fathers set off to war, leaving their women to face a bleak and uncertain future. Schoolchildren learn the story of Florence Nightingale who heroically tended the sick during the Crimean War. But she was not the only woman to play her part. Numerous women from all social classes were actively engaged in the war, often in the most surprising ways. Based on dozens of rare and often unpublished accounts, No Place for Ladies is a rich, colourful and fascinating picture of very different women at war.
SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TELEGRAPH AND EVENING STANDARD '[The] centenary will prompt a raft of books on the Russian Revolution. They will be hard pushed to better this highly original, exhaustively researched and superbly constructed account.' Saul David, Daily Telegraph 'A gripping, vivid, deeply researched chronicle of the Russian Revolution told through the eyes of a surprising, flamboyant cast of foreigners in Petrograd, superbly narrated by Helen Rappaport.' Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St Petersburg) was in turmoil. Foreign visitors who filled hotels, bars and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps. Among them were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, governesses and volunteer nurses. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic; to the black valet of the US Ambassador, far from his native Deep South; to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women’s Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareava. Drawing upon a rich trove of material and through eye-witness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold, Helen Rappaport takes us right up to the action – to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened.
Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer
Author: Helen Rappaport
Publisher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Madame Rachel had everything: a Mayfair address, the title of 'purveyor to Her Majesty the Queen', a shop full of exotic, expensive creams and potions. Her clientele were aristocratic, rich - and gullible. This is the true story of Madame Rachel who began life as a poor fish fryer in a disease-ridden, grubby corner of Victorian London. She ended up with a shop in New Bond Street, where her wealthy clients came in their droves, lured by the promise of eternal beauty. What they found there was a con-woman and fraudster who made a career out of lies, treachery and the desperate hopes of women wanting to be 'beautiful for ever'. Beautiful For Ever is a thrilling tale of love affairs, scandal, blackmail, high-profile court cases, suicide and fraud, with the extraordinary Madame Rachel right at the centre of it all.
A Story of Genius, Rivalry and the Birth of Photography
Author: Roger Watson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Capturing the Light starts with a tiny scrap of purple-tinged paper, 176 years old and about the size of a postage stamp. On it you can just make out a tiny, ghostly image of a gothic window, an image so small and perfect that it ‘might be supposed to be the work of some Lilliputian artist’: the world’s first photographic negative. This captivating book traces the lives of two very different men in the 1830s, both racing to be the first to solve one of the world’s oldest problems: how to capture an image and keep it for ever. On the one hand there is Henry Fox Talbot: a quiet, solitary gentleman-amateur tinkering away on his farm in the English countryside. On the other Louis Daguerre, a flamboyant, charismatic French showman in search of fame and fortune. Only one question remains: who will get there first?
A vivid and compelling account of the final thirteen days of the Romanovs, counting down to the last, tense hours of their lives. On 4 July 1918, a new commandant took control of a closely guarded house in the Russian town of Ekaterinburg. His name was Yakov Yurovsky, and his prisoners were the Imperial family: the former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey. Thirteen days later, at Yurovsky's command, and on direct orders from Moscow, the family was gunned down in a blaze of bullets in a basement room. This is the story of those murders, which ended 300 years of Romanov rule and began an era of state-orchestrated terror and brutal repression.