The story of Queen Victoria’s abiding obsession with her husband Albert and his achievements – both during his lifetime and long after his death
“Rappaport uses new sources to give a vivid account of Albert’s death . . . a valuable and insightful book which will change our view of Queen Victoria”
When Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, died in December 1861 the nation was paralysed with grief.
His death was a catastrophe for Victoria, who not only adored her husband but had, through twenty-one years of marriage, utterly relied on him: as companion, father of their children, friend, confidant, and unofficial private secretary. Without Albert to guide and support her, the Queen retreated into a state of pathological grief which nobody could penetrate and few understood.
Drawing widely on contemporary letters, diaries and memoirs, Rappaport brings new light to bear on the causes of Albert’s death and tracks Victoria’s mission to commemorate her husband in perpetuity. Richly compelling, this is the story of a magnificent obsession that even death could not sever.
Magnificent Obsession: Helen’s talk at The Rancho Mirage Literary Festival 2018
“In this intriguing study, Helen Rappaport sets out to tell the story of the royal anguish that followed Albert’s death in December 1861 . . . she excels in her portrayal of a cult of mourning over which the queen presided with all the imperious intensity of a high priestess. Fair-minded, thoughtful and rich in social detail.“
“Brilliant . . . Helen Rappaport is especially good on the incompetence of the gang of medics who presided over Albert’s illness.”
“Her fluency in English, and her poignant chronicling of matters royal have made me realise once again that she could convert me to virtually any cause. This particular airing of her rare skills maintains her already established status in the front rank of British historians.”
“An absorbing, perceptive, and detailed picture of a constitutional monarchy in crisis.”
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