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Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon
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Archive: Other Books > Censoring Queen Victoria - Yvonne M. Ward - 3 stars

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Linda C (libladynylindac) | 1161 comments After Queen Victoria's death in 1901, Lord Esher, in charge of organizing the funeral and the coronation of King Edward VII, suggested to the King a publication of the Queen's letters as a memorial. Upon approval and gaining access to the material he approached Arthur Benson to co-edit. They produced a 3 volume work that became the primary documents for all research for more than 60 years. Two full rooms of papers were whittled to 3 volumes and each document was edited. They removed almost all personal decisions and anything doing with home life and highlighted how all the major male political figures guided her decision-making. With this as the only available resource, later biographies painted Victoria as Lytton Strachey did (biography, 1921) : “Victoria in effect was a mere accessory.” Both editors were gay and Esher a predator and incestuous. Both were repressive and wanted an idealized portrayal of their Queen. King Edward opposed any comments that would give pain to any survivors of people mentioned or that would jeopardize any foreign political relations at that time. Interesting work based on the author's dissertation.

message 2: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments This sounds very interesting. I've always been fascinated by the Victorian era.

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