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The publication of Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians in 1918 was a tremendous success. In it, Strachey looked at four iconic figures of the Victorian Age and punctured the hagiographical illusions surrounding them. It seems only fitting that he should follow up in 1921 with a similarly unsentimental but fair biography of the person at the pinnacle of that era, Queen Victoria herself.
Thoroughly researched, with his references documented in hundreds of footnotes, Strachey looks at the life of the young woman who, when she was born, was by no means certain to become the British monarch. He also spends considerable time on her consort, Prince Albert, who, in Strachey’s telling, develops from a careless youth to becoming a truly remarkable and effective figure in British society, while continuing to be generally perceived as an outsider.
Strachey’s sardonic and witty style makes this account of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert an entertaining and very informative read.
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