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The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen…
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The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest… (urspr publ 2007; utgåvan 2008)

av Matthew Dennison

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1467140,791 (3.46)5
Beatrice was the last child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her father died when she was four and as Matthew Dennison relates Victoria came to depend on her youngest daughter absolutely, but she also demanded from her complete submission. It is an enthralling story, not just of a mother/daughter relationship, but of a Queen and subject relationship. Victoria was not above laying it down regally even with her own children. Beatrice succumbed to her mother's obsessive love, so that by the time she was in her late teens she was her constant companion and running her mother's office, which meant that when Victoria died her daughter became literary executor, a role she conducted with teutonic thoroughness. She edited and bowdlerised her mother's Journal that cover 70 years and where possible her voluminous correspondence. But thank goodness Beatrice inherited some of her mother's more steely qualities. Although Victoria tried to prevent Beatrice even so much as thinking of love, her guard slipped when Beatrice was 29. Perhaps Victoria thought she was over the hill, but Beatrice met Liko, Prince Henry of Battenberg, and fell in love. As Dennison puts it: hers was a 'hard-won victory of love over family prejudice, political relactance and, most significantly, Queen Victoria's opposition.' Sadly, Beatrice inherited from her mother the haemophilia gene, which she passed on to two of her four sons and which her daughter Victoria Eugenia, in marrying Alfonso XIII of Spain, in turn passed on to the Spanish royal family. Beatrice, however, did not end up simply as a wife and mother. She loved music and composed a military march which remains in the repertoire of British regimental bands, she sang and she painted. Dennison sums up: 'she was an essential component in the smooth-running of Victoria's queenship. This new exmaination will restore her to her proper prominence -as Queen Victoria's second consort.'… (mer)
Medlem:raspberryvixen
Titel:The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter
Författare:Matthew Dennison
Info:St. Martin's Press (2008), Edition: 1st US Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:British history, non-fiction, Queen Victoria, biography

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The Last Princess av Matthew Dennison (2007)

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This biography of Princess Beatrice fills a gap, in terms of bringing together in one place most of the salient facts about her life. However, it is spoilt by a number of things. First, there is the author's determination to comment repeatedly and excessively on Queen Victoria's motives for treating Beatrice in the way that she did - something which is certainly relevant but does not need to be emphasised over and over again.

Ironically, this mean that the best part of the book comes in the chapters dealing with the long years after Queen Victoria's death.

There are other, less intrusive, faults - for example, speculation on Beatrice's relations with her siblings based on very little evidence, and some contradictory evidence - for example, it is emphasised that after her husband's death the princess was not hysterical (and by extension better than her mother) and then on the next page there is a quotation from an in-law which shows quite the opposite. There are also factual errors - for example, at one point it is said that the Queen's grand-daughter Princess Alix of Hesse was born in 1871; she was actually born in 1872. That doesn't affect the main story here, but how much of the book has been fact-checked?

One good feature of the book is a brief chapter which attempts to rehabilitate John Brown and look at the psychological factors underlying his relationship with the Queen. That is welcome, given the tendency of some writers to simply take their lead from the Queen's eldest son, who hated Brown.

So, worth reading but could have been better. ( )
  ponsonby | Jun 4, 2020 |

I've read better...so dull, boring and stuffily written....

Spoiled, allowed freedoms her siblings were not, considered the "prettiest" and co-dependent to her mother....She turned out to be a capable, strong & independent thinker...... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Princess Beatrice was the last daughter of Queen Victoria and Princes Albert. As a baby she petted, shown off, compared to fairies and was gay and delightful. This idyll was smashed with the death of her father. In her grief the Queen wrapped the sleeping Beatrice in one of Prince Albert’s nightshirts and clasped her sleeping daughter to her breast. Although Matthew Dennison thinks this probably apocryphal he concludes that even so it encapsulated their future relationship; the Queen vampire-like in her need for devotion and love from her unresisting daughter. The slow crushing of Beatrice’s lightness and the transformation of her into a dull, heavy, stay-at-home spinster, the Queen’s Benjamin is one of the most striking aspects of Dennison’s sensitive and excellent old-fashioned biography.

For Victoria Beatrice was ‘the flower of the flock’ until she fell in love. Prince Henry of Battenberg was like a real-life Lohengrin and Beatrice besotted. What Queen Victoria did next was to subject her to a psychological war and from May until November 1884 she did not speak to her. Once Beatrice agreed that after her marriage she would still live at home, with the addition of a tame, dashing husband, the Queen began to talk despite ‘such pain’ that she had failed in ‘the hope of keeping your one little ewe lamb entirely to yourself’, as Princess Alexandra sympathised.

Henry and Beatrice were allowed a five day honeymoon. The Queen called on them twice. Eventually Henry escaped, died from malaria and the two women carried on. Beatrice’s daughter the Queen of Spain said of her mother: ‘Her devotion and submission were complete.’ Her reaction on the Queen’s death was devastation: ‘I ... can hardly realize what life will be like without her’. But Beatrice lived on into a world whirling faster with change, wars and revolutions, the last of Victoria and Albert’s princesses.
  Sarahursula | Aug 3, 2013 |
This book provides insight into why Queen Victoria will never be nominated Mother of the Year. Princess Beatrice, the youngest of the Queen's children, was made to be the Queen's personal assistant from an early age. The Queen believed that she had the right to retain her youngest unmarried daughter for this purpose, and that her own happiness was far more important than Beatrice's. The Queen was determined to keep Beatrice innocent, docile, and, most of all, unmarried, going so far as to prevent conversations about marriage from taking place within Beatrice's earshot. When Beatrice, in her late twenties, fell in love and insisted on her right to marry, the Queen was furious, and mother and daughter did not speak for months. Of course, Beatrice still carried out her duties to the Queen during this conflict. Finally, the Queen relented, stipulating the Beatrice could marry, if and only if her future husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg (known as Liko), agreed that the married couple would live under the Queen's roof. Beatrice agreed, of course, and continued to place her mother's needs and desires ahead of her husbands, and later, her own children. This book helps the reader become a bit more sympathetic about Beatrice's censoring of her mother's journals--she re-wrote them out by hand, editing them, and burning the originals--after the Queen's death. This is a terrible loss to historical scholarship, but in this book we understand that Beatrice, as usual, was simply carrying out the Queen's wishes--the story of her life. ( )
  mariabiblioteca | Jun 23, 2011 |
This was a fascinating (& quick!) read. I had really been looking forward to this book & it didn't disappoint. An absorbing & sympathetic biography of Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. It gave you a sense of history without plodding through tedious, unnecessary ancestry, as so many biographies do. ( )
  shalulah | Sep 11, 2008 |
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'I have a dear devoted child who has always been
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August 14, 1883
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Beatrice was the last child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her father died when she was four and as Matthew Dennison relates Victoria came to depend on her youngest daughter absolutely, but she also demanded from her complete submission. It is an enthralling story, not just of a mother/daughter relationship, but of a Queen and subject relationship. Victoria was not above laying it down regally even with her own children. Beatrice succumbed to her mother's obsessive love, so that by the time she was in her late teens she was her constant companion and running her mother's office, which meant that when Victoria died her daughter became literary executor, a role she conducted with teutonic thoroughness. She edited and bowdlerised her mother's Journal that cover 70 years and where possible her voluminous correspondence. But thank goodness Beatrice inherited some of her mother's more steely qualities. Although Victoria tried to prevent Beatrice even so much as thinking of love, her guard slipped when Beatrice was 29. Perhaps Victoria thought she was over the hill, but Beatrice met Liko, Prince Henry of Battenberg, and fell in love. As Dennison puts it: hers was a 'hard-won victory of love over family prejudice, political relactance and, most significantly, Queen Victoria's opposition.' Sadly, Beatrice inherited from her mother the haemophilia gene, which she passed on to two of her four sons and which her daughter Victoria Eugenia, in marrying Alfonso XIII of Spain, in turn passed on to the Spanish royal family. Beatrice, however, did not end up simply as a wife and mother. She loved music and composed a military march which remains in the repertoire of British regimental bands, she sang and she painted. Dennison sums up: 'she was an essential component in the smooth-running of Victoria's queenship. This new exmaination will restore her to her proper prominence -as Queen Victoria's second consort.'

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