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A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy
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A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  889 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
As she did in her critically acclaimed The Last Days of the Romanovs, Helen Rappaport brings a compelling documentary feel to the story of this royal marriage and of the queen's obsessive love for her husband – a story that began as fairy tale and ended in tragedy.

After the untimely death of Prince Albert, the queen and her nation were plunged into a state of grief so prof
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published November 1st 2011)
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Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Where I got the book: purchased on Amazon.

I guess I haven't read an in-depth biography of Queen Victoria before, just scads and scads of books about the era, and my view of the Queen was the standard one: a great monarch but also a passionately engaged family woman, who was distraught about her husband's death and remained in mourning for him for the rest of her life but otherwise got on with queening.

This thoroughly entertaining history has revised my view. QUITE a bit. I heard Helen Rappaport
Mary Ronan Drew
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The brilliant Helen Rappaport has done it again, written a book about a subject we thought we knew all about and made it fresh and new and in this case mesmerizing. I knew Victoria wore black for the rest of her long life after Albert died, but I had no idea of her obsession with death and mourning etiquette. Nor was I aware that she was such a typical 19th century hysterical female. Nor did I realize the extent of her "royal malingering," as one of her courtiers called her reluctance - her refu ...more
Shawn Thrasher
The meat of this book is in the title: Queen Victoria was obsessed with her husband Prince Albert when he was alive, and then became obsessed by and with his death. The subtitle though - "the death that changed the British monarchy" - that's where this book gets tricky (or I suppose if I'm following idiom here, vegetarian). I have no doubt that the queen's longest of mournings changed the British monarchy, but I'm not sure Rappaport proved that anywhere in her book. I do think the prince consort ...more
Ryan Santle
This book is for those people who hunger for more information as to what really happened during the final days of Prince Albert, and the effects it had to Queen Victoria. This is intended as a "companion book" to existing biographies of this mythical royal couple.

As a fan of biographies, I am deeply much in love with books that explores the human side of its subject rather than just narrating the events that I could just simply read in free articles such as Wikipedia. This book offers way more t
The Lit Bitch
The book was good, well researched, informative, and presented an interesting topic. But at times I felt like I was reading a long history paper.

I think the average reader might struggle with this book a bit. As an academic whose focus is in that time period, I could draw on my knowledge of the time period and related the info I was reading in this book to other historic events of the time. This is a must read for historians and Victorian scholars, but that average reader….??? it’s hard to say w
Kate Lynn
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually the first non-fiction book I've read over Queen Victoria. It challenged my knowledge and perceptions of the queen and her reign.
Amy Bunn
Mar 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I've done a lot of reading on the Tudors, but I'm less familiar with the later monarchs. Victoria's great love for her consort, Prince Albert, has always been a source of fascination, and this book fleshes out their story.

In a traditional Victorian era household, the man was in charge, but Victoria and Albert's relationship was made unique by her status as Queen. Denied a kingly title by convention, Albert was actually a quite active participant in Great Britain's government, and his ideas had a
Carol Dixon-Smith
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magnificent Obsession is a very readable and insightful account of the effects of Albert’s death politically, socially, and culturally in the years that followed. Helen Rappaport has that rare skill; she can make a scholarly historical work come alive. Superb.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are fascinated with the British monarchy

I have always been a fan of Victoria and have read a biography about her several years ago, but this book takes on a different angle -- the death of Albert and how it changed the British monarchy. At first I didn't understand the title, but as the book ended, I completely got it. For a good part of the book it seems like the author was very pro-Albert and very anti-Victoria who really changed a great deal after she married Albert. At first she didn't want to get married right away because
The book lives up to its title, by showing the grand scale of Victoria's obsession with Albert in life and in death. It does not live up to its subtitle. It tells how the monarchy was managed during and after Albert's life with Victoria, but does not discuss whether the monarchy, itself, was changed.

Despite some kind words by the author, Victoria is shown to be stubborn and self-centered throughout. She seemed to need the status of her role but did not want its responsibility. Albert helped her
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Mad about Royal H...: A Magnificent Obsession - winter read option 1 4 6 Dec 06, 2015 12:17PM  
  • 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's Gene Haemophilia and the Royal Family
  • Queen Victoria: A Personal History
  • The Young Victoria
  • Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household
  • Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz
  • An Uncommon Woman - The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm
  • Becoming Queen
  • Queen Victoria
  • Queen Victoria
  • Victoria's Daughters
  • Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria
  • Grandmama of Europe: The Crowned Descendants of Queen Victoria
  • Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
  • We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals
  • The Men Who Would Be King: Suitors to Queen Elizabeth I
  • Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II
Born in Bromley, England, Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University but ill-advisedly rejected suggestions of a career in the Foreign Office and opted for the acting profession. After appearing on British TV and in films until the early 1990s she abandoned acting and embraced her second love - history and with it the insecurities of a writer’s life.

She started out contributing to biograp
More about Helen Rappaport...