Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We Two - Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill

Naturally, like everyone else who watched Young Victoria, I became intrigued with the romantic story.  I set out to find out what was "Hollywood" and what was history.  In my bookstore I came across We Two - Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill.  This biography of the lives of two of the most significant leaders of the 19th century is not only a chronicle of their lives and actions, but also a love story and a description of the partnership that became a model for a nation and a time.

This was an intense look at the political atmosphere, families, and lives of Victoria and Albert during the 19th century. I was amazed at the family histories of both King George and Leopold and enjoyed learning the back story about how these two ended up married. Young Victoria suggests they were in a chess game, as if they were pieces on the board that were being moved around in play.  The extent of this is clearly portrayed in the early histories of the two. The information that is presented  on this pair is extensive and at times so lengthy it can be overwhelming. The beginning 200 pages or so was fantastic I couldn't put it down, but then it began to drag on as it discussed Albert's desire for power and his accomplishments as a ruler.  

For me, it certainly quenched my thirst for more knowledge about the pair, but I also would say it hasn't excited me to the point where I want to rush off and read more. When I read biographies that are amazing, such as say Alison Weir, I often have a desire to know more, not just feel satisfied that I made it through the book.  It was good... and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a full history of Victoria and Albert, I would just give the warning it sure is a full biography. It was definitely a book for me that I read over an extended period of time while reading other books. I really did enjoy it, but it won't be on my re-read list for a while. Anyways it is being shipped off to my mom tomorrow, who has been waiting patiently for it. :)

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed that in bios of Victoria, biographers are wont to leave anything out. Victoria left so many papers behind her, so it's a treasure trove for researchers. But, sometimes, enough is as good as a feast. Good review.