Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death That Changed the Monarchy

Author(s): Helen Rappaport

History

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.

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A poignant and fascinating account of a queen and country in mourning

A fascinating exposition of the art of mourning which Victoria made peculiarly her own ... Magnificent Obsession is that rare creature; a scholarly book that wears its learning lightly and is written with clarity and insight. It is a fascinating subject and an even better read: a model of its kind. Sunday Express 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. Sunday Times 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. Spectator Brilliant ... Helen Rappaport is especially good on the incompetence of the gang of medics who presided over Albert's illness. Daily Mail To mark the 150th anniversary of Albert's death, Helen Rappaport looks at the circumstances leading up to it, the ritual of his funeral and obsequies, and offers new theories on what killed him. Majesty magazine

Helen Rappaport is an historian and Russianist with a specialism in the Victorians and revolutionary Russia. Her books include Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs and No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War. She lives in Oxford. For more information, you can visit her website at www.helenrappaport.com

General Fields

  • : 9780099537465
  • : Penguin Random House
  • : Windmill Books
  • : 0.282
  • : July 2012
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Helen Rappaport
  • : 352
  • : 941.081
  • : English
  • : Paperback
  • : Illustrations (some col.), ports. (some col.)