220 Following

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

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 5 %
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Andrea Wulf
Progress: 2 %
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %
Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Elizabeth Fremantle
Progress: 22 %
1913: The Eve of War
Paul Ham
Progress: 20 %
The William Shakespeare Detective Agency: The Dark Lady (The William Shakespeare Detective Agency Book 2)
Colin Falconer
Progress: 15 %
Cosmic Quest Cd (Bbc Audio)
Heather Couper
Firedrake's Eye
Patricia Finney
Progress: 15/249 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.)