By Helen Rappaport
As she did in her significantly acclaimed The final Days of the Romanovs, Helen Rappaport brings a compelling documentary think to the tale of this royal marriage and of the queen's obsessive love for her husband – a narrative that begun as fairy story and resulted in tragedy.
After the premature dying of Prince Albert, the queen and her country have been plunged right into a country of grief so profound that this one occasion may dramatically modify the form of the British monarchy. For Britain had not only misplaced a prince: in the course of his twenty yr marriage to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert had more and more played the functionality of King in all yet identify. The outpouring of grief after Albert's loss of life used to be so severe, that its like wouldn't be visible back till the demise of Princess Diana 136 years later.
Drawing on many letters, diaries and memoirs from the Royal documents and different overlooked resources, in addition to the newspapers of the day, Rappaport deals a brand new standpoint in this compelling old psychodrama--the the most important ultimate months of the prince's lifestyles and the 1st lengthy, darkish ten years of the Queen's retreat from public view. She attracts a portrait of a queen captivated with her dwelling husband and – after his dying – together with his enduring position in background. Magnificent Obsession also will throw new mild at the precise nature of the prince's continual actual situation, overturning for sturdy the 150-year outdated fantasy that he died of typhoid fever.
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Extra resources for A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy
The problem despatched Tomahawk’s revenues rocketing to an enormous 50,000 copies. one more Tomahawk comic strip quickly after, entitled ‘The secret of the Season’, with Brown back leaning opposed to an empty throne, observed via a piece of writing calling for a regency of the Prince of Wales: the Queen may still retreat completely ‘to an honourable retirement’ whereas she nonetheless had the love of her humans. She may perhaps then experience the ‘congenial solitudes of Osborne and Balmoral with none reproach’. With the Tomahawk placing the Queen’s behaviour right down to her ‘deplorable psychological health’, the outdated rumours approximately insanity once more surfaced, fanning the flames of gossip. forty two a few, like Harriet Martineau, rose to her defence: ‘If the widowed grandmother of a dozen little ones isn't secure from London tongues, the fewer we are saying approximately English morals and manners the higher. ’43 yet this used to be as not anything in comparison to the innuendo circulated at the Continent by way of the Gazette de Lausanne. The Swiss newspaper not just alleged a mystery morganatic marriage among the Queen and Brown, yet advised that she was once in an ‘interesting condition’. This, within the view of the British consul in Berne, so heavily impugned the Queen’s acceptance that he lodged a casual criticism, yet used to be pressured to withdraw it by means of the international workplace since it had no longer been submitted during the right channels. The British press respectfully declined to remark, although the republican-minded Reynolds’s Newspaper couldn't face up to the teasing comment, ‘We don't care to breed in our columns the numerous awesome motives which are assigned for the Queen’s seclusion within the pages of our international contemporaries. ’44 Queen Victoria used to be saved in lack of know-how of this newest scandal at the Continent; as for the remaining, she used to be adamant at the factor of Brown’s incorruptibility. not one of the gossip, or the e-book of scurrilous penny pamphlets resembling ‘John Brown, or, The Fortunes of a Gillie’, deterred her from her carrying on with choice for Brown’s shut attendance on her continuously. ‘He is just a servant and not anything more’, attested Henry Ponsonby. In his opinion, what had began as a shaggy dog story have been ‘perverted right into a libel’; the Queen understood simply too good her targeted place as monarch, and Brown’s as her social inferior. forty five however, yet one more obstacle concerning Brown quickly undefined. In could 1867 he were a lot referred to whilst he had seemed within the procession in the back of the Queen whilst she laid the root stone for the Royal Albert corridor of Arts and Sciences. almost immediately afterwards Victoria introduced that he may accompany her at the field of her open carriage to an army assessment in Hyde Park. Her best Minister, Lord Derby, and the Duke of Cambridge, as C-in-C of the military, objected such a lot forcefully, seeing such an visual appeal as heavily compromising to the integrity of the throne, within the gentle of loads unfavorable contemporary gossip. yet all makes an attempt to dissuade the Queen from taking her ‘faithful Brown’ along with her that day failed – even warnings of anti-Brown demonstrations.