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SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages

We Two: Victoria and Albert - Rulers, Partners, Rivals

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals - Gillian Gill

This is an excellent double biography of the the most important married couple of the 19th century, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


Half of the book is a study of their lives in the years before they married, at 20 (1819-1840), as well as the story of the great British Royal Marriage Race.  The other half is a look at their years together, 1840-1861.  (The final chapter considers Victoria's life, and the lives of her children, in the years after Alfred's death, but only in brief.)


I didn't learn that much about Victoria (of whom I've read several biographies, particularly Elizabeth Longford's), but Alfred was a revelation.  Intellectual, ambitious, misogynistic, egotistical, and an autocrat.


She wasn't a prig or a prude - until Albert got his hands on her.  Many of the values that we would consider "Victorian" are, in actuality, "Albertan."


On the other hand, thank you, Albert, for the Crystal Palace Exhibition, and for your very last policy decision - that Britain should not go to war with the US in 1861, over the Trent affair.  (An American warship had stopped the British vessel Trent, which was carrying Confederate diplomats, and seized the Confederates.  Britain's government was apoplectic.)