The Official History Chicks Podcast Book Club discussion

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June Book Discussions > We Two: Victoria & Albert

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message 1: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
So far, I absolutely LOVE this book! Gillian Gill has done an extraordinary job with laying the foundation. Typically, I find it extremely difficult to keep up with whos who when reading about royal families because of the use of the same name but Gillian Gill has been able to provide the useful information without causing confusion. I especially liked how she touched on the story of Charlotte and Leopold. Leopold plays such an important role in Victoria's life and because of his son's and wife's death, Victoria is able to become queen. I am only on chapter 5 but cannot wait to keep reading. How is everyone else doing with this book?


message 2: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
We Two Victoria and Albert Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill


message 3: by Mary (new)

Mary | 22 comments Enjoying it so far as well! The descriptions are interesting and I love this unique scope and point of view Gillian Gill offers. I agree about the concise way the background is presented. Nice to read more about Charlotte too.


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 2 comments I just got the book yesterday and I’m looking forward to starting it. My initial impression: the font is tiny. Maybe I should have opted for a kindle edition.


message 5: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Enjoying it so far as well! The descriptions are interesting and I love this unique scope and point of view Gillian Gill offers. I agree about the concise way the background is presented. Nice to r..."

Gillian Gill does paint a picture for her reader that allows us to feel almost as if we are getting to know Victoria on a personal level. It makes the reader feel more connected with the subject they are reading.


message 6: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "I just got the book yesterday and I’m looking forward to starting it. My initial impression: the font is tiny. Maybe I should have opted for a kindle edition."

Oh no, I'm sorry. I am reading the Kindle version and I do love how you are able to change the font. Look forward to your thoughts once you are able to get into the book.


message 7: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
The more I get into We Two, the more I admire the love the Queen Victoria and Prince Albert shared. It was a rare ideal that individuals, especially royalty, married for love but they did. Queen Victoria looked to Albert as her guiding hand through all things and she admired him until the day she died.

What parts of their relationship that you have read about so far do you find most intriguing?


message 8: by Hanane (new)

Hanane (mshanane) | 3 comments Just go my book today. Hopefully, I will start it tomorrow! Looking forward to it!


message 9: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 9 comments I just started my book today. I just read about the death of Princess Charlotte. So heart-wrenching. It is strange to think, if Charlotte and her son lived, how different history, and the present could be.


message 10: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Yes, you are very right. History would be so very different.


message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 9 comments Currently, I’m on Chapter 14, “Whigs and Tories” page 177, the first two full paragraphs. They are about Albert’s relationship with Prime Minister Peel, versus Victoria’s with Lord Melbourne. Prior to this section Prince Albert and Baron Stockmar forbad Lord Melbourne from writing to Victoria, charging him with “acting unconstitutionally and endangering the Crown by writing to the Queen behind the new prime minister’s back.” Lord Melbourne would die a broken man in 1848. (Page 173)

“Both Peel and Prince Albert confidently anticipated that Peel would return to power sooner or later, so the two continued to correspond and meet regularly after Peel left office. Albert did not see this correspondence to be unconstitutional or a betrayal of the prime ministers who succeeded Peel, as he had alleged in the case of Victoria’s correspondence with Melbourne.... All the same, in the lessons that Albert preached to his wife, in the guilt he laid upon her for her ardent support of the Whigs, there was a double standard of which the prince appears to have been unconscious.”

This makes me feel quite annoyed. Paragraphs after get into the 19th century, needing a man to show her the way, etc. I know that was the mindset of the time. The hypocrisy of it makes me angry. Much of the book so far seems to talk about how Albert wanted influence and power for himself. Which I suppose is understandable. Being the prince consort was a unique position. Everything depended on Victoria, I can see why he would want to carve his own niche. A part of me can’t help to wonder if he knew Victoria needed/wanted his support and used that to control her and sway her opinions.


message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Currently, I’m on Chapter 14, “Whigs and Tories” page 177, the first two full paragraphs. They are about Albert’s relationship with Prime Minister Peel, versus Victoria’s with Lord Melbourne. Prior..."

Interested point, Melissa. I agree to a point with you. I always felt that Albert meant well majority of the time in wanting to feel 'like a man' and have some power but also at times you could really see how they both enjoyed each other's company, input and thoughts. The woman's role in the 19th century and centuries before were very demeaning for us to look back on. It causes frustration for us but at that time, it was natural and not many women stood up for women's rights and those that did were looked down upon even by other women. I think it says a lot about how much Victoria was devoted to Albert even though she, the one woman that had the most power, was truly the one that held all the cards. She still valued his opinion and his guidance. Thanks for your thoughts.


message 13: by Linda Roberto (new)

Linda Roberto | 1 comments I am enjoying this book very much. Learning more about Victoria and Albert sheds some light on Elizabeth II and Philip. They navigated many of the same hurdles early on, I believe.


message 14: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
I never thought of it that way but I guess it does show in Elizabeth II’s relationship.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 2 comments I definitely have a greater appreciation for Albert’s unusual position as prince consort having watched The Crown. Philip struggled in the 1950’s with being subordinate to the Queen in every way. Albert really did not have any frame of reference for his situation.
I am also very interested to learn about the many reforms Albert put in place to improve royal property and household management. Additionally he and Victoria insisted on holding the household and themselves to a high moral standard. I suspect that if these reforms hadn’t been imposed, Britain’s royal family would not still be in place today.


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Good points, well made! I agree, Albert established the foundation for how the royal household would be run day to day as well as established many social policies. Albert was a very strong partner to Victoria but I can’t imagine how he must have felt all those years to play a lesser role in the public eye.


message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin Weil | 1 comments I just finished the book and absolutely loved it! It shed a different light on Victoria’s life and marriage. I both loved and hated Albert. He seemed to be a great, involved dad to their kids and so invested in improving England. But I didn’t like how he was constantly criticizing Victoria and isolating her from the kids...I wonder if she really didn’t want to be involved or just felt like she was pushed out of the role of mother???


message 18: by Janet (new)

Janet | 12 comments I finished the book last week. Then I discovered the footnotes. They were equally fascinating! Well researched and well written, this book was a view into a world I know little about. The requirement to marry royalty sure led to a dwindling pool! I felt so sorry for the hapless princesses being shipped out to serve the dynasty.


message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary | 22 comments Janet wrote: "I finished the book last week. Then I discovered the footnotes. They were equally fascinating! Well researched and well written, this book was a view into a world I know little about. The requireme..."
I agree!! Well said Janet!


message 20: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Janet wrote: "I finished the book last week. Then I discovered the footnotes. They were equally fascinating! Well researched and well written, this book was a view into a world I know little about. The requireme..."

I completely agree with you, Janet.


message 21: by Amber (new)

Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "I just finished the book and absolutely loved it! It shed a different light on Victoria’s life and marriage. I both loved and hated Albert. He seemed to be a great, involved dad to their kids and s..."

That's a great question, personally, what I got from it was maybe she did not feel connected to her children at first because, first she was younger when she began having children and was still in that 'new love' stage of her marriage and wanted that to herself. So when she became pregnant, she immediately had the mindset that she disliked the child(ren). I think Albert became so involved in their upraising that when Victoria began to want/spend time with her children, he felt that she was intruding in something he had already been in so much control over. One of the few things he had full control over in his life. I loved and hated Albert at the same time too but try and think from his point of view with his station in life. I can imagine it is not easy to be second in a household for a man.

Thanks for your input.


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