Veronica Noechel's Reviews > We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

We Two by Gillian Gill
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's review
Jul 16, 2011

really liked it
Read from March 18 to July 16, 2011

A nice overview of the royals. I found that I had ingested a lot of misinformation about both the queen and her prince consort, and was corrected on a lot of points. Among so many arranged marriages, Victoria was insistent upon choosing someone she loved dearly, though it seems debatable whether or not her love was returned on more than a cursory level. Still, Albert evokes sympathy and respect for his devotion to both political endeavours and family, and his ability to sustain periods of poor treatment in childhood, unpopularity as an adult, severe depression, delicate health, and other repeating problems with a strong committment to his personal beliefs.

Victoria steals the show, though, as if that's a surprise. Her childhood was traumatic, held hostage in her own home. She grew into a woman of surprising strength, and--dare I say--a feminist in many ways. She was definitely aware and discontented with having to trade her freedom for love of a man--she loathed pregnancy and never had much desire to raise children (though she became very close to her oldest child once she reached adulthood). She definitely would have been happy to live 100 or so years later, when birth control became readily available. She still would have had to produce an heir, but she wouldn't have borne nine by a long shot. She had very progressive ideas when it came to pregnancy, childbearing, etc. and helped popularize certain scientific innovations in that area. Really interesting stuff.

I didn't look at the number of pages when I purchased this book (one of those tricky kindle things)so I was surprised that it just kept going and going. It never got boring, but I did read about 5 or so other books while reading this one, more if you count the many I'm still finishing. I don't regret the time spent reading it one bit, just be aware that you may want to set aside a chunk of time to get through it. :)

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message 1: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine Rebbert the movie, "Young Victoria" is pretty good too in terms of allaying some myths about them

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