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

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,221 Ratings  ·  347 Reviews
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 naive 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
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Published May 19th 2009 by Books on Tape (first published January 1st 2009)
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Ryan Santle Magnificent Obsessions by Helen Rappaport explored this scenario quite a bit. I suggest you reading that.

It has also a very detailed account on the…more
Magnificent Obsessions by Helen Rappaport explored this scenario quite a bit. I suggest you reading that.

It has also a very detailed account on the last days of Prince Albert which explains the hysteria that Queen Victoria felt during that time. A compelling-read.(less)
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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
May 09, 2012 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
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’ ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
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: .
Feb 10, 2010 Candace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gillian Gill's "We Two" is an excellent history that, yes, sorry for the cliche, reads like fiction. There's a lot of interesting stuff to learn from this book. I had always wondered how princes and princesses from these tiny German duchies ended up marrying into nearly all the royal houses of Europe and the answer is easy--there were a lot of them! Since royals can only marry royals, preunited Germany offered lots of royalty even if they were from teeny debt-ridden countries. Who cared if the p ...more
Jun 08, 2011 Trina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I put this biography on hold after watching the movie, Young Victoria. It was a delightful movie and I wanted to get a sense of how real it really was. I found that by doing so, I stumbled upon a delightful biography in its own right. While obviously nonfiction, it flows and captivates as if it were fiction. It feels similar to historical fiction in that these characters connect so many parts of history that I've read or known about from other sources such as the Great Exhibition of 1851 (this w ...more
Maya Ganguly
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 more 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 ...more
Oct 14, 2009 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was another book that I picked up 100% based on the cover. Something about the title in italics and being able to see it across the room. It was purely visual. But after reading the inside cover I was interested enough to check it out. And then after the first few pages I was hooked.

I totally thought this would be another "Seabiscuit" like "Woman and the Sea" was. Like full of drama and intrigue and royal politics. It was less Woman and the Sea and more "A&E Biography". But still it was
Jun 02, 2010 Alanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written, well researched, and fascinating to read. The only reason I didn't give it the full five stars was just because I was slightly sad to see how difficult Victoria and Albert's marriage was (which really isn't the author's fault, but it still left a shadow on my reading!). While their marriage was very happy and successful, both had their fair share of disappointments-- Victoria hated and feared being pregnant, which is pretty awful considering s ...more
May 10, 2010 Camilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is a very good introduction to the lives of Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. It is detailed without being oppressive, entertaining while still being informative, and well-researched in addition to being well-written. Pictures and handy family trees scattered through the chapters help the reader understand Gill's points while the informative end notes are an un-looked for but gratifying treat.

My only criticism is that a double biography such as this often has trouble deci

Lady Knight
Jun 22, 2012 Lady Knight rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lady Knight by: The History Chicks (Podcast -- Queen Victoria parts 1 and 2)
I came across this one when The History Chicks (which as a side note is a fantastic podcast... it's pretty much girl talk about the life of a well known historical figure!) did a two-part podcast on Queen Victoria. They highly recommended the book and since I enjoy their podcast so much, I figured I would give it a try. I hate to admit it, but I didn't enjoy this one too much.

I wasn't too keen on how much explanation and emphasis was placed on the fact that Albert really only ever enjoyed male c
Julia Reed
Jun 06, 2011 Julia Reed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for those that are fans of the Victorian era. I had to do this one in chunks because it can be very dense, but I was glad that I read it. People usually fawn all over themselves about how in love Victoria and Albert were, how he was satisfied to let her rule while being the perfect royal consort. What you probably don't realize is that the British hated Albert to their bones and while the pair were very much in love, Albert was always uncomfortable with his consort role, and sought t ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I think that perhaps I should have read a biography of Victoria by herself before getting into a dual biography of Victoria and Albert. I am much more interested in Victoria; Albert's narcissism and contempt for the female sex was very frustrating, and made more so because Victoria worshiped Albert and joyfully subjugated herself to him. It was hard to reconcile Albert's bad qualities with his love of family, work ethic, and progressive ideals. However, it seems that as long as he was completely ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great historical exploration of the fascinating relationship between Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort Albert. A must-read for historical readers who like royalty.

Details: Gill explores the long and complex lives of Victoria and Albert. This is a comprehensive review of their relationship starting from their first brief meetings and how their courtship was supported by influential family members. We learn how their marriage altered over time and feel Victoria's sadness when Albert dies.

V.r. Christensen
This is truly one of the best non fiction books I've ever read. Granted, I'm particularly infatuated with the Victorian era, but I was pleasantly surprised in this to find it both accessible and concise. Much background history is discussed, which might ordinarily bog down the narrative, but in this case it is all presented in the clearest and most insightful of ways. That Victoria was fated for the throne is perhaps evidenced by the complexity of circumstances that surround her history and upbr ...more
Feb 12, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
We are so utterly amused. This book is just really delightful (there are two colons in the title; how can it go wrong?). For a couple of days I stalked around the house deeply, even maritally, irritated at Prince Albert. Best part: Victoria hates being pregnant but JUST CAN'T STOP boffing the prince.
Jan 29, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this biography, although I must admit, I tend to love all things related to England's royal past. Gill does a fabulous job discussing the unlikely love story of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. Although she seems inclined to favor Victoria when discussing the nature of their relationship, Gill does an admirable job discussing the childhood experiences which may have shaped the misogynist leanings of Albert. As well, Gill explores the childhood experiences of Victoria, ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Fergie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the rich, long history of England, an author has a wealth of potential subjects from which to choose. Every modern day student of history certainly knows of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert so Gilligan Gill was quite right in choosing these royals if she wished to ensure at least some prior knowledge and interest of her subjects. What Gill was successful in securing was an ongoing interest through her ample use of interesting facts and details of Victoria and Albert, the German prince conso ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Jan 21, 2010 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I bought this book somewhat on a whim but also because I thought it might give more 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 b ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Brittany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
I just finished this book about 40 pages before I expected to, and I'm a little cranky with Gillian Gill. I did enjoy the book (quite a lot, in fact), but I kept wishing there were footnotes. Gill kept asserting facts--usually about people's feelings or thoughts--without backing up how she knew them. If only I had known that there are pages and pages and pages of endnotes explaining exactly that. Perhaps this is my fault, too. I suppose I should have checked the back of the book, but the possibi ...more
Feb 13, 2012 Eva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this book was extremely fascinating as Gillian Gill describes the conditions of Victoria's early life, her relationship to her mother, and her family life as an adult. The great romance between Victoria and Albert worked because they both worked at it. All was not sweetness and light in the family home, but when they disagreed or struggled over power, they made sacrifices for the other.

I was unaware how hard Albert struggled to become King in everything but name and how hard he worked t
Although a well-written biography, the author seemed to make a point of keeping the reader at odds with his subjects. Partly that was becase there were two of them and a triangle is always a bit difficult. What I did like about the book was seeing the push and pull of the personal lives of Victoria and Albert and how she sank into motherhood and Albert's idea of home and family only to appear in all her unopposed glory at his death, with no reference at all to what he would have liked. We tend t ...more
Lev Raphael
Aug 05, 2010 Lev Raphael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you saw and loved "Young Victoria," you must read this book which is a terrific story of two very complex and demanding people brought together in a wild cauldron of family craziness, politics, and social change. I read it one weekend in a state of utter enchantment for its style, its insights, its range. I won't read a book for "story' or "information" any more--it has to have everything going for it, no matter what the genre. You'll never see Victoria or Victorian England in quite the same ...more
A really fascinating look at the dynamic between Victoria and Albert, with a good background on the early lives of each. I like that Gill didn't overly romanticize either of them, although some of her statements had the ring of speculation. I suppose that's unavoidable in a historical biography, but a caveat or two probably wouldn't have gone amiss. Still, this was engaging and well written, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in these two iconic figures.
Victoria Welch
Jan 12, 2010 Victoria Welch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2010
After seeing "The Young Victoria" (highly recommended) over the holidays, I realized how little I actually knew about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Given the way both this film and the BBC miniseries I'd seen a few years ago played up their romance, I thought their courtship and marriage worth examining. "We Two" strips away a bit of the rose-colored lenses, instead focusing on an imperfect pair of people in an intense - and, yes - loving relationship. The imperfections is what makes these p ...more
Ron Lavery
Nov 28, 2015 Ron Lavery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I enjoy history books that are well written more importantly how many new things I learn from it. Although in this case the bar was pretty low. I knew of the long Victorian Era and it's very stuffy puritan tone. I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and it was one of my favorites. I knew and used the old "Prince Albert in a can" gag. Otherwise my knowledge was fairly meager. (I have read much more of earlier kings.)
I enjoyed learning the many deta
Marilyn Beyer
2 1/2 stars --

The book is a joint biography of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, her husband whom she deeply loved. The writing is dry and academic, drones on at times, void of wit and not cleverly done. Some topical format jumped forward and back in time, so a timeline would have been helpful. (Other charts are included in the book.)

The author drew largely on letters and prolific journals the Queen wrote before Albert's premature death from typhoid in 1861, applauding his chief contributions as
Jul 17, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Queen Victoria has never been as interesting to me as the other two British queens, the Elizabeths. However, this biography did a lot to spark my interest. I picked it up, having heard "Victoria and Albert" all over the place, and was quite pleased with it.

This biography focuses first on Victoria's early life, then Alberts, and then their life together. It doesn't explore much past Albert's death, though Victoria lived another 40 years. It was quite readable, with the chapters organized by them
Feb 21, 2015 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely prefer the movie (The Young Victoria) to the book. The movie is all sexy. So very very beautiful and sexy with the love and the tenderness and the two of them saving each other. It's not surprising, of course, to find out that the Christmas card picture wasn't exactly the whole story. But it's sad. For them, especially (obviously). It's a love story, sure, but it's much more complicated.

This is a very readable book that seems meticulously researched. She admits when there isn't suff
Aug 18, 2014 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Very gossipy and fun. Some historic inaccuracies. Takes a few liberties. Did NOT like the family tree placements throughout the book. If one is a first time Victoria/Albert reader they would be lost, as far as whose related to who. Excellent note section. Was compelled to order two books from based on Gill’s note section. Gillian Gill, please write a book on Alexander II.
Warren Dunham
Mar 06, 2016 Warren Dunham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
one of the most interesting queens of the british empires at the time of its most powerful or possibly any other. We tend to think how this queen stood on top of it all ruling and running everything despite her sex, the truth is more complex she loved a great man, this is the story of the two of them.

Any time I read about a royal family of a dynastic line is I really don't want to be them. Growing up they have no control of their life are often unloved except as what they can provide to the prev
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2016 Reading Chal...: We Two 1 12 May 03, 2015 08:03PM  
  • Becoming Queen
  • The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter
  • Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess
  • Queen Victoria: A Personal History
  • Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
  • An Uncommon Woman - The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm
  • Victoria's Daughters
  • A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy
  • Sovereign Ladies: The Six Reigning Queens of England
  • The Young Victoria
  • Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria
  • Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III
  • Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen
  • Privilege and Scandal: The Remarkable Life of Harriet Spencer, Sister of Georgiana
  • The Queen Mother: The Official Biography
  • Queen Victoria
  • A Royal Passion: The Turbulent Marriage of King Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
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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“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. The world of business was more hostile to women in 1840 than it had been in 1740 or 1640, and though many women were forced to work, a bare handful could make a living wage.” 0 likes
“education could certainly “mould and direct” but could not “alter a child’s character.” 0 likes
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