Saturday, May 26, 2018

We Two: Victoria and Albert, Rulers, Partners, Rivals

By Gillian Gill
Ballantine Books, 2009. 480 pages. Biography.

It was a love affair that would define an era. The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was the most influential of the nineteenth century, and yet it didn’t begin so auspiciously. When they first met, neither one found much to be interested in, Victoria was willful and Albert was shy and awkward. But when they met again in 1839, Victoria found that Albert had grown into a beautiful, cultured, accomplished man. She proposed three days later.

Both were looking for a strong, intimate relationship based on trust and love, one like they had never experienced in their childhoods. Yet each one had yet to learn the art of compromise. Gill chronicles the passionate and complicated marriage of two strong-willed and dynamic people who would come to influence not only the country they ruled, but the world.

This biography is a joy to read. It isn’t dry or interminable. Gill creates vivid portraits of not only the Queen and her prince, but also their families and ministers. Anyone who likes Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria : a novel or the movie The Young Victoria will enjoy this biography. AG

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