October 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month
There’s a picture in this book of Queen Victoria’s family at a garden party in 1875, a great crowd of Royalty spawned from her numerous prodigy. She became a grandmother and thought nothing of marrying of both children and grandchildren to create a spider’s web of power and influence that – as we know – had many ruinous consequences. In contrast to that 1875 portrait of stiff unknowable figures, Deborah Cadbury brings us the story of some of the players in this saga, bringing to life the real figures behind all this Pomp and Circumstance. ~ Sue Baker
If you're interested in Queen Victoria and her family you might also like to read The Mystery of Princess Louise: Queen Victoria’s Rebellious Daughter by Lucinda Hawksley.
By the 1890s, Queen Victoria had over thirty grandchildren and to maintain and increase royal power in Europe, she knew she had to manoeuvre them into a series of dynastic marriages. In her sights was royalty from across the world. Yet for all their seeming obedience, her grandchildren often had plans of their own, plans fuelled by strong wills and romantic hearts. Her matchmaking plans were only further complicated by their coinciding with tumultuous international upheavals; revolution and war were in the air and after her death, her most carefully laid plans fell to ruin. Queen Victoria's Matchmaking travels through the most glittering, decadent palaces of Russia and Europe, weaving in scandals, political machinations and family tensions, to enthralling effect. It is at once an intimate portrait of the royal family and an examination of the conflict caused by the power, love and duty that shaped the marriages that Queen Victoria arranged. At the heart of it all is Queen Victoria herself: doting grandmother one moment, determined manipulator the next.
“Wonderfully compelling and packed with new material - a gripping story beautifully told” – Jane Ridley
“Cadbury is an adroit storyteller. Her lively, colourfully written book, Queen Victoria's Matchmaking, recounts the courtships and marriages of a handful of the Queen's grandchildren … a panoramic family saga, its players by turns pragmatic and romantic, wilful, dutiful, misguided and, occasionally, tragic … Cadbury writes with verve” – Matthew Dennison, Daily Telegraph
“[An] absorbing book ... The fall of the Romanovs occupies the superb last pages of Cadbury's book ... Dynastic mergers, we may deduce from Deborah Cadbury's account, offer no defence against the whims of history. This catastrophe-laced slice of royal history offers a ripping read” – Miranda Seymour, Observer
“Engrossing … Cadbury engagingly presents [Queen Victoria] as a mesmerising Mrs Bennet, summoning her children and then her grandchildren to Balmoral ... The stories of [Queen Victoria's] descendants are mesmerising and often stranger than fiction … From the pen of a writer of skill and style, this surprising narrative leaves you wanting more” – Paula Byrne, The Times
“Cadbury's account of Victoria's attempts to bend her unruly grandchildren to her matrimonial will is the stuff of melodrama … covered with verve and insight by Deborah Cadbury in her new history” – Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times
Publication date: 07/09/2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
|Publication date:||7th September 2017|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History, The Real World,|
Deborah Cadbury is the author of seven acclaimed books including Chocolate Wars, The Dinosaur Hunters, The Lost King of France and The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, for which her accompanying BBC series received a BAFTA nomination. Before turning to writing full time she worked for thirty years as a BBC TV producer and executive producer and has won numerous international awards including an Emmy.More About Deborah Cadbury