Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch

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Random House Publishing Group, Aug 10, 2010 - History - 464 pages
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A gripping account of Queen Victoria’s rise to the throne and her early years in power from CNN’s official royal historian, the author of Ambition and Desire and England’s Mistress
 
“Kate Williams has perfected the art of historical biography. Her pacy writing is underpinned by the most impeccable scholarship.”—Alison Weir
 
In 1819, a girl was born to the fourth son of King George III. No one could have expected such an unassuming, overprotected girl to be an effective ruler—yet Queen Victoria would become one of the most powerful monarchs in history.
 
Writing with novelistic flair and historical precision, Kate Williams reveals a vibrant woman in the prime of her life, while chronicling the byzantine machinations that continued even after the crown was placed on her head. Upon hearing that she had inherited the throne, eighteen-year-old Victoria banished her overambitious mother from the room, a simple yet resolute move that would set the tone for her reign. The queen clashed constantly not only with her mother and her mother’s adviser, the Irish adventurer John Conroy, but with her ministers and even her beloved Prince Albert—all of whom attempted to seize control from her.
 
Williams lays bare the passions that swirled around the throne—the court secrets, the sexual repression, and the endless intrigue. The result is a grand tale of a woman whose destiny began long before she was born and whose legacy lives on.
 
Praise for Becoming Queen Victoria
 
“An informative, entertaining, gossipy tale.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A great read . . . With lively writing, Ms. Williams [makes] the story fresh and appealing.”The Washington Times
 
“Sparkling, engaging.”—Open Letters Monthly


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
P A R T O N
11
lo Thinking that She Has a Will of Her Own
78
Everything I Could Wish Desire Collected in One
113
Mr and Mrs Coburg
123
N T E R L UD E 181720 Drunken Dukes
141
The Dregs of Their Dull Race
143
2O As Plump as a Partridge
152
Victoria on Tour
249
Victorias Whims
254
Crowds of Princes
260
I Cannot Expect to Live Very Long
269
It May All Be Over at Any Moment
278
Just the sort of Life I Like
287
He is of the Greatest Use to Me
302
Scandal
314

Alexandrina Victoria 1 59
158
P A R T T W o 182037 Little Victoria
169
An Idol in Kensington Palace
171
The Nations Hope
178
Imperial Rober
193
I Was Greatly Pleased
199
Educating a Princess
204
Sickly Uncle King
213
Charlotte the Queen?
221
3o The Queen Does Nothing but Embroider Flowers
226
How very Old
237
When Nobody Wishes to Change and Nobody Wants to Give In
242
A Way of Settling It
325
Passing like a Dream 532
332
Monsters
341
An Everlasting Impression
347
Children seem to Literally Be Raining Down from Heaven
353
What a Hard Task It Is for Us Women
361
An Immense Multitude
369
Acknowledgments
375
Bibliography
421
Index
431
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Kate Williams studied for her B.A. at Oxford University and went on to earn an M.A. from the University of London and a D.Phil. in history from Oxford. A lecturer and TV consultant in addition to being CNN’s royal historian, she has hosted several documentaries on British television and appears regularly on both American and British networks. Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of three biographies—Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte, England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton, and Becoming Queen Victoria: The Unexpected Rise of Britain’s Greatest Monarch—as well as a novel, The Pleasures of Men. Her articles and essays have been published in a wide range of books and journals. Kate Williams lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.

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