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Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter

A Biography of Princess Louise
Auteur(s): Lucinda Hawksley
Narrateur(s): Jennifer M. Dixon
Durée: 16 h et 2 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 évaluations)

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Description

Spirited and lively, Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter is richly packed with arguments, intrigues, scandals, and secrets, and is a vivid portrait of a princess desperate to escape her inheritance.

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 rumor 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 rumors of Louise's colorful 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, since the 16th century, to marry a commoner. She moved with him to Canada when he was appointed Governor-General.

©2013 Lucinda Hawksley (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CEF231
  • 2019-04-28

A must read for royal history lovers

Enjoyed hearing about princess Louisa.
Agreed that it's shameful that so much about her is still buried in the royal vault. She made an attempt to be more transparent. IF you love learning about this royal family give it a listen.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Serena Galloway
  • 2018-07-17

not very factual

early on she speaks of the possible son. later it is suddenly fact. no proof.

15 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • 2019-09-26

A good story ruined by a bad narrator

All of the authors enthusiasm from a lecture I watched is completely lost. I don’t know if the narrator just disagreed with her or didnt have the energy to make her sound interesting.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • JayOne
  • 2020-01-16

Incredibly Frustrating

This is one of the most frustrating, disappointing books I've ever purchased. It read like a gossip column, often repeating rumor and ineundo, incessantly. Over and over we're told Princess Louise didnt love her husband, didnt spend time with him, he was gay, and she had lots of lovers. Over and over. At the same time, just once, there was mention of her instense worry for niece Czarina Alexandra...and then nothing else. All this worrying and no mention of her beloved niece, and her family, following the events of 1918. These are just a few of the far too many examples to mention. There was no follow through; no back up.

Disjointed, repetitive, and frankly, it often felt like a dirty tabloid. What's worst of all, is that I learned nothing new about the Princess. The narrator was the lone bright spot.

This is a disappointing no, from me.



  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • McFitz
  • 2019-11-17

Well-written and interesting biography

Queen Victoria had nine children (who all looked exactly alike, btw) between 1841 and 1857, although she was frightened of childbirth and didn’t like children. And she wasn’t a very good mother… Go figure.

This is an interesting and well-written biography of Princess Louise, the sixth child and fourth daughter born to Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert. Louise was an artist, although her family didn’t always take her seriously in that respect. She fought for independence from her tyrannical mother and for more equality for women, while still performing many of the state duties of a royal princess. She was definitely the least “royal” of her family, in the way she interacted with people of all classes and was easy to talk to. The book doesn’t skip over the rough parts of her personality, either; Louise had a fiery temper and little patience at times.

She also had quite an appetite for love, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, based on her upbringing. Her marriage was not a love match, and in fact, her husband was probably gay. They spent a lot of time apart, and Louise was rumored to have had several serious affairs, and even a child born out of wedlock.

The reason for the “mysterious” part of the title is that many of the first-hand accounts of the family’s life were purged by Beatrice, the youngest princess, after the queen’s death. Letters and documents related to Louise were very difficult to find, and some conjecture is necessary. But Hawksley makes sure to note when that was the case, and the amount and quality of the research behind the known facts are quite amazing.

The book is organized well and is mostly chronological. Even listening to the audiobook, I didn’t have a difficult time with the many names and titles of the royals, aristocrats, artists, and servants mentioned throughout. Jennifer M. Dixon does an outstanding job with the narration of the audiobook.

The book will interest anyone who wants to learn more about the royal family in general, and especially about Victoria’s children. Louise was definitely a woman ahead of her time.