Queen Victoria's Matchmaking

Queen Victoria's Matchmaking

The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe

eBook - 2017
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A captivating exploration of the role in which Queen Victoria exerted the most international power and influence: as a matchmaking grandmother.As her reign approached its sixth decade, Queen Victoria's grandchildren numbered over thirty, and to maintain and increase British royal power, she was determined to maneuver them into a series of dynastic marriages with the royal houses of Europe.Yet for all their apparent obedience, her grandchildren often had plans of their own, fueled by strong wills and romantic hearts. Victoria's matchmaking plans were further complicated by the tumultuous international upheavals of the time: revolution and war were in the air, and kings and queens, princes and princesses were vulnerable targets.Queen Victoria's Matchmaking travels through the glittering, decadent palaces of Europe from London to Saint Petersburg, weaving in scandals, political machinations and family tensions to enthralling effect. It is at once an intimate portrait of a royal family and an examination of the conflict caused by the marriages the Queen arranged. At the heart of it all is Victoria herself: doting grandmother one moment, determined Queen Empress the next.
Publisher: 2017.
ISBN: 9781541762336
Characteristics: 1 online resource : illustrations, map.

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Jun 13, 2018

Intriguing, comprehensive look at how Victoria and Albert's ideas about influencing international politics through the strategic marriage of their descendants actually played out on the world stage. It is fairly mind-boggling to try and follow the romantic paths of so many children, grandchildren, and cousins, so many of them in the other royal families of Europe and with so many similar names. This book does a good job of trying to isolate a selection of the key partnerships, telling the tale of how the partners got together or came apart, the overbearing influence of Queen Victoria, and the ultimate fate of each union. It is fascinating to see all of Victoria's behind-the-scenes machinations to try and pair up each grandchild with the European royal that she found most suitable, and her extreme displeasure over love matches that did not serve to fulfill her ambitions. A lot of interesting history is contained within these pages; where ultimately things never did quite work out as planned, often with disastrous results. For example, daughter Vicky's marriage resulting in the birth and early rise of Kaiser Wilhelm II in Germany: Queen Victoria's sense of dread and foreboding at granddaughter Alexandra's marriage to Nicholas II of Russia, the unexpected death of Prince Albert's son Eddy right before his marriage to Mary of Teck, with her subsequent betrothal to his brother, George. So much absorbing information here for those interested in 19th century history.

Jun 05, 2018

Interesting read that showed Queen Victoria's influence, not only on her family's marital choices, but the entire world. In particular, I was fascinated to read that Queen Victoria tried to steer her beloved granddaughter, Alix, away from marrying Nicholas II of Russia. Spoiler alert for those who don't know their history, but unfortunately for the Romanov family, Alix was ill-suited to be Empress of Russia which led to the downfall and execution of the entire family.

Mar 15, 2018

Interesting though not groundbreaking. In the end, most of the matchmaking was irrelevant as larger forces remade the political world. The one marriage that was truly a love match--and that Victoria opposed--proved to be the exception: Nicholas and Alexandra were a disaster for everyone concerned.

Feb 01, 2018

Well written and researched, although a little recursive in spots (possibly because that's what happens when one lineage marries into that many families who when marry amongst themselves). In hindsight, one believes that things might have turned out somewhat better had there not been quite so much 'matchmaking' going on. Would there have been a World War? Would there have been a Russian Revolution? Would things have better in the long run? The 'what ifs' do give one pause: fertile ground for counterfactual fiction here, I think.

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Nov 09, 2018

Alexandra5528 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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