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Prince Leopold: The Untold Story of Queen Victoria's Youngest Son
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Prince Leopold: The Untold Story of Queen Victoria's Youngest Son

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  396 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-84), is acknowledged to have been the most intelligent and probably the most interesting of Queen Victoria's four sons. He was the youngest and a strong-willed attractive character, with an immense thirst for life. He was also, however, the first haemophilia sufferer in the royal family and endured continual ill health; as if haemophili ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by The History Press
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This is a well researched, insightful biography.

Prince Leopold was a kindhearted, intelligent young man who, sadly, was afflicted with hemophilia. Unfortunately, he was also afflicted with a selfish, jealous, manipulative, narcissistic mother. That he was able, not only rise above an extremely painful disease to live an almost normal life, but summon the energy and will to fight his mother, Queen Victoria, so that he would be allowed to have it, shows immense strength of character.

There is a ty
Verity W
Sep 26, 2016 Verity W rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very well researched, but ultimately not particularly readable biography of Prince Leopold. Whilst the details about his illness were interesting, I some times found myself lost in a morass of knee injuries and leg injuries and references to letters which meant I found it hard to keep track of the timeline and how time was passing relative to how often the attacks happened. The analysis of deaths of young male children among Queen Victoria's ancestors was new to me and I wou ...more
Jun 02, 2016 Isidore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A soundly researched account, based largely on primary sources, of the brief life of Leopold, youngest son of Victoria and Albert.

Without resorting to melodrama or purple prose, Zeepvat lets the grim story speak for itself. Leopold was a hemophiliac who endured great pain, chronic invalidism, and the expectation of a short life. His miseries were enormously compounded by his mother's breathtaking narcissism and unconscious cruelty. On the one hand he was deeply depressed much of the time; on the
Jun 06, 2017 Debra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading biographies on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I moved onto one of their nine children.

According to historians, Prince Arthur (the 7th child) was Victoria's favorite son, while Prince Alfred ("Affie," the 4th child) was Prince Albert's. Without a doubt, my favorite of the sons is Prince Leopold (their 8th child), who was born on April 7, 1853.

Like her husband, Albert, Victoria loved all her children; and they loved her, but sometimes she was more monarch then mother. Once a priva
The author had a problem of over citing and using every letter and mention to back her claims which was utterly unnecessary because 2 letters could have demonstrated the 10 she used just as well. This made the book feel tedious and overwrought. Additionally, the things the author stressed about Leopold, his exceptionalism within the family and his intelligence, could have been more weaved into his personal and married (the latter was barely mentioned) life making them seem like less two separate ...more
Sharon Bak
Nov 28, 2014 Sharon Bak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am almost done with this book. it is interesting and well written.
I have to stop reading books about Queen Victoria's mothering skills.
Dianna McCarty
Jun 06, 2017 Dianna McCarty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and intriging

This book kept me captivated from cover to cover. What an excellent read of Historic and medical information. This book is written in a way that makes the reader feel as if they have known the royal of Prince Leopolds family personally. I love how the information was taken from historical documents and the spaces filled in to make this story come to life. I can feel the anxiety and selfishness of the queen as well as the frustration and unhappiness of dear Prince Leopold.
Katie Murphy
Jun 30, 2017 Katie Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A beautifully written book about Queen Victoria's son. Little was known of hereditary/genetic illness at the time which caused life long suffering. I knew nothing about this man before reading this biography. He now belongs in my heart for his intelligence, sensitivity, love of family and country. Wonderful read.
Danna Merritt
Apr 27, 2017 Danna Merritt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Reads like a novel, but is a well documented bibliography. Don't miss reading this one. What a story! We've come so far in the treatment and care of hemophilia. Oh, that Leopold could have led the life that can be lived today even with hemophilia! A very enlightening book.
Shirley Tomlin
A difficult life

The Victorian Age with its stiff rules of behavior reigned supreme in poor Prince Leopold's life and the Queen added to his burdens by keeping him away from joys of most young people.
Alberta Hunter
Jun 18, 2017 Alberta Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was well researched. Thanks to the copious writings of the royal family, the author was able to create a full timeline, rich with detail. It was a privilege to read of the struggles and triumphs of Prince Leopold.
I've been trying to read this book for close to two months and I'm finally just giving it up as a bad job. I've been very interested in the life of Prince Leopold for some time but this book is so dry and boring that at this point I could not possibly care less.
The Visual
Apr 12, 2014 The Visual rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always associated hemophilia with the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Hemophilia changed Russian History as well as World History because of the decisions that were made to save Tsarevich Alexei from this illness.

I was curious about the connection to the Russian family and how it manifested in that particular royal line. i was doubly curious when I found out that hemophilia was an inherited disease and that Alexei inherited it from his mother, Empress Alexandra who inherited it f
Annie Booker
Jan 14, 2017 Annie Booker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed and enjoyable biography of one of England's lesser known princes.
Jan 31, 2015 Marley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little familiar with Prince Leopold, but had no idea his life was so tragic yet triumphant. Diagnosed with hemophilia in the day when little was known about it, Leopold led a cosseted early life, surrounded by keepers But that didn't stop this gentle, courageous intellectual from fighting for a life of independence. Due to his illness and treatment at the hands of his seriously dysfunctional mother, he had great empathy for children, the disabled, and the grief stricken. Though in consta ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Aishuu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always amazed at Victoria's relationships with her children and how it shaped them into the people they became. Leopold's hemophilia also plays an important role in the life he led, but Victoria's inherent selfishness once again comes through and makes one of her children miserable. Every time I read excerpts from her letters I dislike her more, but she was an interesting imperial lady used to getting her own way and good at taking things personally. I think a lot of her modern day popularit ...more
Mar 03, 2011 Dagmar1927 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book, all I really knew about Leopold was that he was born in 1853 and was "the haemophiliac one". Now, however, he has come to life as one of the more interesting and certainly the most intelligent of Queen Victoria's sons.

I learnt a lot from this book, such as Leopold's relationship with Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in 'Alice in Wonderland' and his somewhat strained relationship with his mother. His wife, Princess Helen of Albany also comes across extremely wel
Apr 25, 2016 Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I enjoyed this book very much and having epilepsy I can relate to Prince Leopold and his later great-nephew Prince John, although Leopold was haemophilic he also suffered with epilepsy at the odd times. This book not only gives an insight to Leopold but it also gives an insight to Queen Victoria and how she dealt with grief, but it tells of Leopold's strong relationship with his siblings and his hatred of the brothers John and Arche Brown due the Victoria's reliance on them both.

My view of this
Jul 16, 2014 Jaggerjag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly enjoyable! I got this on kindle, free from Amazon and really didn't expect it to be much good, but it really is worth paying for.

The story is interesting as much for the insight it gives, through letters and quotes, of Queen Victoria's grip on her family. The book avoids psychological speculation but it is interesting that Victoria ..raised in a very controlling way.. did her utmost to control her youngest son. His life is to some extent inspiring, despite agonising pain, illness an
Jan 20, 2014 Leonie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real eye opener. I had no idea Queen Victoria endeavoured to control her youngest son's life in such a manner as to make him miserable. A deeply selfish woman, "I'm miserable and so you must be too." His haemophilia dogged his every step, rendering him bed bound for weeks at a time, but there was no need for his mother to restrict his life so much, when he had so much to give to her subjects. I have been engrossed in this biography and am haunted by the sad end to such a short, pain-racked lif ...more
Diane Heath
Nov 01, 2014 Diane Heath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This shed light on another aspect of Queen Victoria and her family. Leopold was her youngest son and the only one to inherit hemophilia. He is often overlooked or given brief mention in other biographies. This book reveals an intelligent gifted young man who was independent of spirit and graceful under adversity. The battles with his mother who attempted to keep him an invalid increased the severity of his illness. The reference to Victoria's female line and the hints of hemophilia in that line ...more
Ellen Wong
Jun 30, 2014 Ellen Wong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Sad Victorian Tale

How to feel sadness for a British royal. Having no knowledge of Prince Leopold prior to reading this short work I must confess I felt great empathy for him. While he could have taken a less responsible road during his brief life, he pressed for intellect, curiosity, good humour, and a living worth something other than royal privilege.While the writing style left a little to be desired it got the job done.
Mary Glass
Dec 08, 2014 Mary Glass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unwilling mama's boy

And yet, although his life was fairly short he did manage to find joy and love along with the suffering of ill health. To have an already overbearing mother who can and will play the sovereign card on a whim. Ouch. But still found a way to be his own man and marry happily. Leopold met and was held in high esteem by some cool historical personages. A very interesting read.
Sep 03, 2014 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As biographies go, this was so readable, plus engaging after the first 50 pages or so. Prince Leopold is such an interesting but unknown figure in the royal Victorian household. The book reveals how little was known about hemophilia AND how secretive Victorian households were, even a royal one. It is also gut wrenching to learn how detached and critical Queen Victoria was, so there is a lot more in this book than just Leopold's struggle to live and to experience normal things.
Jul 07, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was good but the e book version had a lot of formatting issues.

I don't see how any child born to royalty could grow up sane. They are shuffled from one place to another. The parents show favoritism openly and expect the children at a very young age to learn things that older children know.

This book was an eye opener on how the children grew up during this time in royal families.
May 04, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those who enjoy a bit of history this is an excellent read - written with heavy reliance on original sources (letters, newspapers, diary entries etc) this book has a really authentic feel. I found the subject matter compelling and the insight into the lives of Leopold and Queen Victoria fascinating - looking out for other books by Charlotte Zeepvat.
Aug 16, 2014 Frumykle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enlightening and very well written! Puts a new light on Q Victoria and has made me buy a book about the princess Helena, Leopold's sister, to see the story from another angel. This book about Leopold is better written I think.
What a terror regime this grand Queen held! But I suppose it was a must to survive as a woman in those days..
Grey Wolf
Jun 25, 2013 Grey Wolf rated it it was amazing
A fascinating history of Queen Victoria's youngest son, a haemophiliac who never let the disease stop him, who married and had children and wanted to play a full part in the life of the realm, but for whom death was always a shadow chasing him, and which eventually caught up with him, still too early.
Heather G
Mar 10, 2014 Heather G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly wonderful book

This book was extremely well written and evenhanded. I really felt at the end like I knew Leopold and really liked him. Even though I knew how it would end I still had to wipe away some tears. If you are interested in Queen Victoria and her family I highly recommend this book.
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Charlotte studied medieval and modern history at Birmingham University and completed an MA thesis which explored the curious links between diplomacy, espionage and art collecting in the mid-seventeenth century.

Charlotte's writing career began in 1991 with Royal Digest (a magazine to which she was principal contributor throughout its 14-year existence before moving on to its successor, Royalty Dige
More about Charlotte Zeepvat...

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“the illness of a good child is so far less trying than the sinfulness of one’s sons – like your two elder brothers. Oh! Then one feels that death in purity is so far preferable to life in sin and degradation!” 0 likes
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