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The Mystery of Princess Louise Queen Victoria's Rebellious Daughter by Lucinda Hawksley
  

The Mystery of Princess Louise Queen Victoria's Rebellious Daughter

Biography / Autobiography   History   

Sue Baker's view...

Princess Louise was bold, unconventional and artistic and not one to buckle under the wrath of her mother, Queen Victoria, perhaps this very boldness is the reason the archives are closed on both Princess Louise and her husband Lord Lorne. Lucinda Hawksley has pieced together the story of this rebellious Princess revealing a woman who would defy convention and upbringing to attempt the life she wanted to live.

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Queen Victoria's Children, John Van der Kiste
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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Born in 1848, Princess Louise was the sixth of Queen Victoria’s nine children. She consorted with artists, campaigned for education, health reform, and the rights of women, and she was the only one of Victoria’s brood to marry a commoner and moved with him to Canada when he was appointed Governor General. The ‘mystery’ referred to in the title of this intriguing book is due to the fact that the royal archives remain closed to scholars.
~ The Good Book Guide

Synopsis

The Mystery of Princess Louise Queen Victoria's Rebellious Daughter by Lucinda Hawksley

The secrets of Queen Victoria's sixth child, Princess Louise, may be destined to remain hidden forever. What was so dangerous about this artistic, tempestuous royal that her life has been documented more by rumour and gossip than hard facts? When Lucinda Hawksley started to investigate, often thwarted by inexplicable secrecy, she discovered a fascinating woman, modern before her time, whose story has been shielded for years from public view. Louise was a sculptor and painter, friend to the Pre-Raphaelites and a keen member of the Aesthetic movement. The most feisty of the Victorian princesses, she kicked against her mother's controlling nature and remained fiercely loyal to her brothers - especially the sickly Leopold and the much-maligned Bertie. She sought out other unconventional women, including Josephine Butler and George Eliot, and campaigned for education and health reform and for the rights of women. She battled with her indomitable mother for permission to practice the 'masculine' art of sculpture and go to art college - and in doing so became the first British princess to attend a public school. The rumours of Louise's colourful love life persist even today, with hints of love affairs dating as far back as her teenage years, and notable scandals included entanglements with her sculpting tutor Joseph Edgar Boehm and possibly even her sister Princess Beatrice's handsome husband, Liko. True to rebellious form, she refused all royal suitors and became the first member of the royal family to marry a commoner since the sixteenth century. Spirited and lively, The Mystery of Princess Louise is richly packed with arguments, intrigues, scandals and secrets, and is a vivid portrait of a princess desperate to escape her inheritance.

Reviews

'Satisfyingly replete with eye-popping stories of life at the various palaces.'

- Rachel Cooke, Observer

'The fullest biography yet of a princess who was friends with Josephine Butler, a feminist and advocate for the health of sex workers, well deserves its place on the shelf.'

- Lucy Worsley, Sunday Express

'Lively, engaging and buoyantly enthusiastic, Hawksley's gallant but necessarily speculative book should encourage the royal archivists to stop being so protective.'

- Miranda Seymour Sunday Times

'I've always wanted to know more about Princess Louise... Biographies of Kate Perugini and Elizabeth Siddal - who moved in similar artistic circles - drew Hawksley to her. Court secrecy meant that resourcefulness was needed to write it.'

- Ruth Richardson Times Higher Education

'Hawksley's entertaining and lengthy book gives a vivid insight into Victorian royal life and the repressions and sexual hypocrisies of those days.'

- Anthony Looch UK Press Syndication

About the Author

Lucinda Hawksley is a writer and lecturer on art history and nineteenth-century history. She has written biographies of the pre-Raphaelite muse Lizzie Siddal, Charles Dickens, and Katey, one of Dickens' children. She is the great great great granddaughter of Charles and Catherine Dickens and is a patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

20th November 2014

Author

Lucinda Hawksley

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Author's Website

www.lucindahawksley.com/

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Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
400 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
History

Biography: historical, political & military
Biography: royalty

ISBN

9781845951542

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