European Royalty Group Reads
> Victoria Victorious: Part 2
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Sep 16, 2010 08:54AM
Please discuss chapters The Wedding, Lovers' Quarrels, Rumblings of Revolt, and War and Mutiny here.
Sep 27, 2010 08:14AM
I'm just starting "The Wedding" - looking forward to reading more about Victoria and Albert's relationship :)
Sep 29, 2010 06:00PM
So I finished this part...
Victoria and Albert's relationship is interesting, isn't it? Albert is an unlikable and Victoria is likable. He's so self important!
I don't hate him, but he seems to stifle Victoria so much...and she seems to love him more than he loves her.
I marked a page that I thought was kind of funny - in the chapter "Lovers Quarrels" Victoria is talking about the unrest in the country and Albert's involvement in the government - it says "There was a great deal of unemployment; there was trouble in Afghanistan; there were disputes with China."
Sounds like heads of state have been dealing with the same issues forever! LOL
I love the character of Lord Melbourne - he's so much fun!
I wondered if Victoria really felt the way Plaidy described her about her children - childbearing and them as babies. I would have been horrified at my fertility, too!
Sep 30, 2010 03:15AM
I think Victoria's feelings about her children are accurate. I remember a documentary that said Victoria was terrified of childbirth because of what happened to Princess Charlotte. I think I read in one of Leslie Carroll's books that Victoria was never very maternal and in fact may have resented her children for her almost perpetual state of pregnancy which she felt disrupted her ideal life with Albert.
I agree Albert isn't very likeable and at times I wonder why Victoria loved him so much. I think she had some "daddy issues" - I read that she deep down believed that a woman's role in a marriage should be submissive and obedient but this conflicted with her role as Queen. I think because she never knew her father, she was always looking for a dominate father figure even in her marriage.
I am suspicious of Lord Melbourne though - he may be fun but it makes me wonder just how seriously he takes his role as prime minister. Victoria is young and I can understand she needs some fun in her life but for example, there's a point in the book where Victoria mentions that Melbourne will switch the topic to gossip when he can see she's getting bored of talking about politics. It doesn't seem very queenly: "Oh I'm bored now, tell me some juicy gossip" - at times, I think she maybe she needs someone who doesn't indulge her every whim like Melbourne does.
Oct 06, 2010 06:36AM
I'm about 3/4 through the book, and I am enjoying it very much. I'm so glad to read that I'm not the only one who doesn't think that Albert is all that. Over time, we learn that Albert is a smart man, but he's so patronizing to Victoria, and she credits him for so much, that I just didn't get it. Plus, their relationship made Victoria seem less queen-like to me. I think that she would have been a much stronger ruler without Albert in her life.
I didn't like how Albert treated Bertie at all, and I was particularly disappointed in Victoria's complete deferral of his upbringing to Albert. I found it interesting to see the consequences of their child-rearing later in the book. Also, I couldn't believe the favoritism that Albert showed toward Vicky over the other children.
I did like that Albert was able to bring Victoria's relationship with her mother back on track. But again, Plaidy intimates through Victoria that somehow their rift was Victoria's fault, too, which I didn't agree with, nor did I understand.
Overall, Victoria hasn't really done much governing in my opinion. I believe that Plaidy has portrayed Victoria in way that makes her come off as a weak ruler, bad mother and an obessive wife. For a woman who was at the epicenter of Europe, at a critical point in history, she just comes off as someone who was ineffective in most things that she did. Does anyone else feel this way while reading this book?
I have a non-fiction biography of Queen Victoria. I think that I'm going to try and read it in 2011. I'm curious to see how someone else portrays her. Until then, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this one.
Oct 06, 2010 08:16AM
Sera wrote: "Overall, Victoria hasn't really done much governing in my opinion. I believe that Plaidy has portrayed Victoria in way that makes her come off as a weak ruler, bad mother and an obessive wife. For a woman who was at the epicenter of Europe, at a critical point in history, she just comes off as someone who was ineffective in most things that she did. Does anyone else feel this way while reading this book?
At times, yes. At other times, I feel like it's just made her human. I think maybe we just didn't see a lot of her governing because Plaidy wanted to focus on Victoria's relationships with the important figures in her life. I think had this not been a very accurate portrayal of a historical figure, I would not have like it due to the many flaws Victoria had. But it was interesting because it was so accurate (from what we know) - you really get a feel for who Victoria was, warts and all.
I haven't read a full bio on Victoria but I've read what Leslie Carroll has written about her (she writes short bios on various royals) and I've seen documentaries. They all support Plaidy's portrayal.
Oct 06, 2010 08:45AM
It's been awhile since I read this one but I remember thinking like others have that Albert was very controlling. His way or no way basically. I thought I read somewhere that since Victoria could not make him a ruler with her, she did what she could to make him the head of the family. I think that is why she deferred so much to Albert in the raising of their children.
Oct 07, 2010 08:53AM
Interesting and valid points. Later in the book, Victoria picks up her strength as a both a decision maker and a ruler. I finished the book last night and think that perhaps Victoria's lack of a father while growing up, made her to look to Albert and the other men in her life as fulfilling that role, even though Plaidy doesn't mention that as a possibility. Albert is her voice of reason, each of her Prime Ministers filled a void her life, and even John Brown, who was her protector. Each of these men took on a role with Victoria that perhaps a father might have taken on for her.
I'm not surprised at the accuracy of Plaidy. She is known for not over-exaggerating or making up facts, which is why she is my favorite historical fiction writer. But then again, I haven't read Penman yet :)
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