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

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals It Was The Most Influential Marriage Of The Nineteenth Century And One Of History S Most Enduring Love Stories Traditional Biographies Tell Us That Queen Victoria Inherited The Throne As A Na Ve Teenager, When The British Empire Was At The Height Of Its Power, And Seemed Doomed To Find Failure As A Monarch And Misery As A Woman Until She Married Her German Cousin Albert And Accepted Him As Her Lord And Master Now Renowned Chronicler Gillian Gill Turns This Familiar Story On Its Head, Revealing A Strong, Feisty Queen And A Brilliant, Fragile Prince Working Together To Build A Family Based On Support, Trust, And Fidelity, Qualities Neither Had Seen Much Of As Children The Love Affair That Emerges Is Far Captivating, Complex, And Relevant Than That Depicted In Any Previous Account The Epic Relationship Began Poorly The Cousins First Met As Teenagers For A Few Brief, Awkward, Chaperoned Weeks In At Seventeen, Charming Rather Than Beautiful, Victoria Already Showed Signs Of Wanting Her Own Way Albert, The Boy Who Had Been Groomed For Her Since Birth, Was Chubby, Self Absorbed, And Showed No Interest In Girls, Let Alone This Princess So When They Met Again In As Queen And Presumed Prince Consort To Be, Neither Had Particularly High Hopes But The Queen Was Delighted To Discover A Grown Man, Refined, Accomplished, And Whiskered Albert Is Beautiful Victoria Wrote, And She Proposed Just Three Days LaterAs Gill Reveals, Victoria And Albert Entered Their Marriage Longing For Intimate Companionship, Yet Each Was Determined To Be The Ruler This Dynamic Would Continue Through The Years Each Spouse, Headstrong And Impassioned, Eager To Lead The Marriage On His Or Her Own Terms For Two Decades, Victoria And Albert Engaged In A Very Public Contest For Dominance Against All Odds, The Marriage Succeeded, But It Was Always A Work In Progress And In The End, It Was Albert S Early Death That Set The Queen Free To Create The Myth Of Her Marriage As A Peaceful Idyll And Her Husband As Galahad, Pure And Perfect As Gill Shows, The Marriage Of Victoria And Albert Was Great Not Because It Was Perfect But Because It Was Passionate And Complicated Wonderfully Nuanced, Surprising, Often Acerbic And Informed By Revealing Excerpts From The Pair S Journals And Letters We Two Is A Revolutionary Portrait Of A Queen And Her Prince, A Fascinating Modern Perspective On A Couple Who Have Become A Legend

Gillian Gill, who holds a PhD in modern French literature from Cambridge University, has taught at Northeastern, Wellesley, Yale, and Harvard She is the author of Nightingales The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale, Agatha Christie The Woman and Her Mysteries, and Mary Baker Eddy She lives in suburban Boston.

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  • Hardcover
  • 460 pages
  • We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals
  • Gillian Gill
  • English
  • 03 October 2019
  • 9780345484055

10 thoughts on “We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

  1. says:

    Any and everybody interested in the Victorian Era should read this book Actually this time period and all that it stands for should be called the Albertian Era The book explains why It was so funny I came to this conclusion and then the author said exactly that She used the words Albertian Era it is not me that invented the phrase I feel this is the most important message of the entire book.People who say they love Victorian literature, they simply have to be interested in the couple that created this life style based on sexual morality, premarital chastity, conjugal fidelity and yes hypocrisy too What are all the other adjectives associated with this era How did these descriptions come to be tied to Victoria Albert and why Female submission Double standards Straight laced behavior Strict protocol Morality or obsession with morality And why exactly do we associate this all with hypocrisy and double standards Isn t morality good Victoria and Albert must be viewed together They had nine children Look at this couple and you begin to see what the Victorian Era really means, but there are no easy answers How their life exemplifies the era is extremely interesting Their lives are interesting To understand them you need to know of their childhood experiences Then the reader can consider debate to what extent we follow what our parents teach us and to what extent we rebel from all we are taught These are the thoughts that went through my head.The book is clear History is made clear it is simply presented, although occasionally all the details of who is who in this large families gets a bit too much The events leading up to the Crimean War are fascinating and well explained Great lines on Florence Nightingale too Did you know that Albert was the one behind the first scientific world fair He was the initiator and the man behind the first one in 1851 in London, in Hyde Park The book ended too soon I wish it had continued to tell of what Victoria did after Albert s early death, but look at the title It says clearly what is covered The title aptly speaks of their relationship rulers, partner and rivals I can also recommend George, Nicholas and Wilhelm Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I Queen Victoria was the grandmother of all three Rosalyn Landor s narration of the audioboook is excellent.

  2. says:

    We Two has one of those tantalizing subtitles that nonfiction loves to plaster on covers Victoria and Albert Rulers, Partners, Rivals If Victoria and Albert had consciously considered themselves rivals, this concept for the book would have made for an extremely interesting study of two competing partners ruling the most powerful nation of the nineteenth century Unfortunately for author Gillian Gill, Albert and Victoria seem to have left nothing in the way of their own writing or in others anecdotes to indicate that either of them saw their relationship as a competition, and that is a fundamental problem in the book s organization.Instead, Victoria erected lavish memorials to the Prince Consort, published hagiographic biographies of him, and wrote diary entries and letters that indicate she was bereft without him Where, you might well ask, can this possibly leave a revisionist author, determined to showcase their marital battles Logically, it leaves the corpus of letters that can be summarized to their most damning themes, as well as all the destroyed documents that obviously contained all the critical information the author can t provide in the historical record.The method of arguing from silence works in general because nobody can prove its conclusions wrong through evidence Thus, Gill is irrefutably able to answer several key questions in Albert Victoria biography debates Why was Albert able to satisfy Victoria on their wedding night if he was as pure as he claims Gill answers ex silentio because Albert had had a lot of gay sex experiences at university Next did Victoria sleep with John Brown, her Highland Servant, after Albert s death T he lack of hard evidence is in itself a proof of intimacy, writes Gill The relevance of Victoria s relationship with someone after Albert s death in a book dedicated to the marriage of the two is, however, never made clear Gill s writing is so graceful at times that it masks her weaknesses as a biographer The chief weakness is neither the peculiar absence of quotes from most of her chapters, nor her occasionally unclear timeline of narration, but rather her own confusion about her argument I can t tell if she approached her sources with the view that Victoria and Albert were prototypes of modern power couples, and then failed to find much evidence for that in the documents they left, or if she approached her sources with the idea that Albert was a foolish and oppressive husband, but Gill definitely approached the texts with some sort of hypothesis that fell apart the she examined it The result is that she vacillates between Albert as superman and Albert as weakling characterizations depending on the chapter Such characterization is unfair to both the Prince Consort and Queen Victoria, who certainly deserves credit for her own choices than she receives from Gill s attacks on and defenses of the Prince.

  3. says:

    I bought this book somewhat on a whim but also because I thought it might give insight into the lives of Victoria and Albert I was not disappointed This is a dissection of their lives, both personal and professional with even a little of their sex life tastefully thrown in A marriage made in heaven.probably not..but certainly one that was much happier than that of any other monarchs before or since The book covers the early life of both individuals which gives the reader a basis for their behaviour once they married and ruled England Make no mistake.Albert may have been Prince Consort but he had much to say about how Victoria s reign was shaped and led to the Victorian age He was basically a self pitying prude who early in his marriage molded his wife into his image She flexed her muscles from time to time during their life together but basically followed his suggestions which set the tone of their private and public life.Toward the end of the book, the relationship of the parents to their brood of nine children is discussed, especially with the two oldest children, Bertie the Prince of Wales, and Vicky the Princess Royal, who went on to the the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany The book ends with Albert s death which threw the Queen into decades of self imposed mourning.This is a well researched, well written book which I would recommend to those interested in this period of British history.

  4. says:

    So, I finished this a few months back and read this in conjunction with another biography on Albert Stanley Wientrab s Uncrowned King I found this book compelling to read, but totally biased against Albert Gillian Gill makes a lot of conclusions about Albert and his personality that I didn t quite sit well with me, for example, at one point she makes a statement about Albert being antisemitic, but doesn t back this up, and ignores the fact that Prince Albert was supporter friend of the Rothschilds and an advocate for the bill which allowed Jews to serve in parliament prior to him Jews were not allowed to sit in parliament, even if they won the office I also was frustrated by Ms Gills constant reference to how great Queen Victoria was and I say this a person who has always been impressed by her as a young woman of strength and spirit surviving in a male dominated world I feel like both these figures and their marriage deserved a nuanced and better researched biography If you plan on reading this, I would suggest reading it in conjunction with a less biased biography, or a biography that is biased in the other direction.

  5. says:

    Since she had opted to marry and had chosen Albert of her free will, since custom decreed that a woman must look up to her husband, and since a queen regnant of England could not look up to an ordinary man, then Albert must, ipso facto, be extraordinary The perfection of the Queen s husband was an article of faith on which both she and Albert could build a marriage This book was excellent I picked it up after being captivated by the Masterpiece series Victoria on PBS, and I found every bit of Victoria and Albert s story portrayed in this volume intensely interesting.There are so many fascinating stories within their story a unique and unrepeatable love story, the creation and make up of family dynasties, the challenge of marriage and parenthood, Victorian medical approaches to pregnancy and hemophilia and maybe the most interesting of all, a study of changes to the control of power in Britain and the wider world over the course of the nineteenth century, and how they came about The hugeness of Victoria and Albert s story made this historical account engrossing on so many levels But ultimately the success lies in the way it was told Gill humanized the characters she gave us insights into their personal struggles and possible regrets It read like an epic novel.We have the character of Victoria She was one tough cookie surviving seven assassination attempts, for example , but yielded almost completely to her husband s will She was passionate, melodramatic, and lacking in fashion sense She really had the hots for Albert, so much so that she endured nine pregnancies even though she feared the risk and hated the confinement of the condition and wasn t always crazy about her children even after they were born.We have her partner Albert He was a stickler for morality, and held his family and basically everyone he met to very high standards He thought pretty highly of himself, and had a strong misogynistic streak His work ethic and list of accomplishments was jaw dropping and probably killed him When he wasn t being a hard taskmaster, it sounded like he was an incredibly active and fun dad whose children adored him.At the end of the story, there is a kind of It s a Wonderful Life moment, where the author speculates on the impact Albert might have had if he d lived longer She even makes a credible case that he could have prevented WWI It really makes you think about the impact one individual can have in this world A few extensive quotes to show how the author digs beneath the story to convey the context in which it took place The English in the nineteenth century liked to hear of female weakness and submission They had seen Europe shaken to its foundations by a series of revolutions, and male hegemony was one ancient certainty that the vast majority of the population, male and female, was ready to defend at all costs In 1840, the year that Victoria and Albert were married, no woman in the kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland could vote, be elected to parliament or any other public office, attend the university, or enter a profession If a woman married, her property, her earnings, her children, and her body legally belonged to her husband, to do with as he willed German rulers during Albert s youth were feudal in their outlook and repressive in their methods They viewed their states as private property, personal fiefs They took their rank and their name from those fiefs, but they were constantly looking to trade up Albert could have succeeded as a professor, geologist, botanist, statistician, musician, engineer, or bureaucrat, and probably found satisfaction in his work But the one thing that the younger son of a German prince could not do in the early nineteenth century was train, take up a profession, and earn money In the hearts of both the Queen and the prince, the seeds of the doctrine of the divine right of kings lay ready to sprout Far from seeing the Queen as a figurehead, they believed that supreme authority in the nation was vested in her They envied the personal power wielded by the rulers of Russia, Austria, and Prussia even as they affected to deplore the cruelty and injustice underpinning that power They envisioned themselves as enlightened autocrats and were convinced that the British nation would be happier and prosperous if they, not parliament, dictated national policy

  6. says:

    Excellent double biography of the most important married couple of the 19th century.Victoria was not a prig until Albert came along.Recommended without reservation.For a further review

  7. says:

    This review can also be found on my blog 3.5 5I ll be the first person to say that I don t like Queen Victoria She just doesn t interest me However, I ve read a couple books that have finally let me get interested in her in some way Really, that comes from her and her relationship to her husband, Prince Albert.To me, it s not healthy What they had is pretty terrifying to me.But, they both didn t have great upbringings Queen Victoria definitely was an abused child and Prince Albert didn t have the best parents out there They married young and it wasn t long until Victoria was having child after child for most of their marriage.The book really focused on Prince Albert rather than Victoria She was important, obviously, but Gill was interested in talking about Albert He was the one who grabbed and power as they were married and she had children.However, I never got the feeling that they were rivals They worked together namely, Victoria changed herself to fit whatever Albert wanted to create a dynasty together and to emulate Victoria s grandfather, George III with penny pinching and frugality They were partners with creating a certain image of the ideal English family Both ruled in their own way.But rivals Eh.I m not denying that there was a rivalry between them, but that the author didn t show it to me well.After reading this, I feel ready to delve into Victoria s reign I have enough of a background and I finally feel interested enough to do it.

  8. says:

    Audiobook 185

  9. says:

    For those who enjoy this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they will enjoy I love this sort of thing and I enjoyed it very much.

  10. says:

    This is an engaging biography of Victoria and Albert which focuses tightly on their personalities and the dynamics of their marriage It s an easy read, and very accessible the author includes only as much historical background as absolutely necessary to make the story coherent, and only discusses other people such as their children in the context of their relationship with Victoria and or Albert.I have read several books about Victoria and her family and I was very familiar with the basic story of their marriage, but I still found this an interesting and informative read In particular I liked the analysis of Albert s character I liked the author s prose style very much.There are lots of endnotes, although they are not denoted in the text There s also an index.

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