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Browse audiobooks by Matthew Dennison, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore, later Princess Henry of Battenberg, was the last-born - in 1866 - of Victoria and Albert's children, and she would outlive all of her siblings to die as recently as 1944. Her childhood coincided with her mother's extended period of mourning for her prematurely deceased husband, a circumstance which may have contributed to Victoria's determination to keep her youngest daughter as close to her as possible. She would eventually marry Prince Henry of Battenberg in 1885, but only after overcoming her mother's opposition to their union. Beatrice remained Queen Victoria's favourite among her five daughters, and became her mother's constant companion and later her literary executor, spending the years that followed Victoria's death in 1901 editing her mother's journals and voluminous correspondence. Matthew Dennison's elegantly written biography restores Beatrice to her rightful place as a key figure in the history of the Victorian age, and paints a touching and revealing portrait of the life and family of Britain's second-longest-reigning monarch.Show more
'A brilliant study of a brilliant woman' LUCY WORSLEY History has forgotten Caroline of Ansbach, yet in her lifetime she was compared frequently to Elizabeth I and considered by some as 'the cleverest queen consort Britain ever had'. The intellectual superior of her buffoonish husband George II, Caroline is credited with hastening the Enlightenment to Britain through her sponsorship of red-hot debates about science, religion, philosophy and the nature of the universe. Encouraged by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, she championed inoculation; inspired by her friends Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, she mugged up on Newtonian physics; she embraced a salon culture which promoted developments in music, literature and garden design; she was a regular theatre-goer who loved the opera, gambling and dancing. Her intimates marvelled at the breadth of her interests. She was, said Lord Egmont, 'curious in everything'. Caroline acted as Regent four times while her husband returned to Hanover, and during those periods she possessed authority over all domestic matters. No subsequent royal woman has exercised power on such a scale. So why has history forgotten this extraordinary queen? In this magnificent biography, the first for over seventy years, Matthew Dennison seeks to reverse this neglect. The First Iron Lady uncovers the complexities of Caroline's multifaceted life: the child of a minor German princeling who, through intelligence, determination and a dash of sex appeal, rose to occupy one of the great positions of the world and did so with distinction, élan and a degree of cynical realism. It is a remarkable portrait of an eighteenth-century woman of great political astuteness and ambition, a radical icon of female power.Show more
A fresh, witty, accessible life of Queen Victoria. Not since Lytton Strachey has the irony, contradictions and influence of this Queen been treated with such flourish or biographical insight.Reigning over a lifetime, Queen Victoria embodied the spirit of the contradictory era to which she lent her name. She championed modern art and photography but resisted education for the working classes and woman's suffrage; she advocated cultural imperialism, tempered by imperial compassion; in her deference to her husband Prince Albert and her protracted mourning of his death, she combined wifely submission with regal obstinacy. Original and accessible, 'Queen Victoria' is a compelling assessment of the ruler's mercurial character, her key relationships and her impact on her own age and beyond.Show more
Aristocrat, literary celebrity, 'Rose Queen', devoted wife, lesbian, recluse, iconoclast - Vita Sackville-West was many things, but she was never straightforward. Her life is re-told here in a dazzling new biography. In this stunning portrait of Vita Sackville-West, Matthew Dennison traces the triumph and contradictions of Vita's extraordinary life. His narrative charts a fascinating course from Vita's lonely childhood at Knole, through her affectionate but 'open' marriage to Harold Nicolson (during which both husband and wife energetically pursued homosexual affairs, Vita most famously with Virginia Woolf), and through Vita's literary successes and disappointments, to the famous gardens the couple created at Sissinghurst. The book tells how, from her privileged world of the aristocracy, Sackville-West brought her penchant for costume, play-acting and rebellion to the artistic vanguard of modern Britain. Dennison is the acclaimed author of many books including a biography of Queen Victoria. Here, in the first biography to be written of Vita for thirty years, he reveals the whole story and gets behind 'the beautiful mask' of Vita's public achievements to reveal an often troubled persona which heroically resisted compromise on every level. Drawing on wide-ranging sources and the extensive letters that sustained her marriage, this is a compelling story of love, loss and jealousy, of high-life and low points, of binding affection and illicit passion - a portrait of an extraordinary, 20th-century life.Show more