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Search tags: Queen-Victoria
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review 2018-04-05 19:13
An excellent introduction to the iconic monarch
Queen Victoria - K. D. Reynolds,H.C.G. Matthew

As one of the last monarchs whose name is associated with an era, Queen Victoria comes across more as an icon than as a person.  Yet the stout figure seemingly always dressed in mourning always had to walk a fine line between these two poles.  Viewed from birth as a likely future monarch, Victoria led a isolated life as a child thanks to her mother and a key member of her household, both of whom sought to usurp her future authority as queen.  Asserting herself soon after her accession to the throne, she nonetheless submitted willingly to her husband, Price Albert of Saxe-Coburg, deferring unquestioning to his counsel throughout their marriage.  Devastated by his death, she eventually emerged from her seclusion to assume a politically active role in the later decades of her reign, spending her final years as a beloved and venerated figure among the British people

 

Summarizing Victoria’s life for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, from which this short study is derived, was the joint task of its editor, H. C. G. Matthew, and one of his former students, K. D. Reynolds.  Matthew’s premature death, however, left Reynolds to finish up the entry.  His achievement is an impressive one that combines insight with brevity to provide a remarkably comprehensive summary, one that shrugs off the longstanding myths and imagery to allow a real person of flesh and blood to emerge.  It makes this book an essential starting point for learning more about the queen, one unlikely to be bettered in its evaluation of Victoria’s life and reign.

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review 2018-01-18 13:39
The Greedy Queen
The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria - Annie Gray

I enjoyed reading this non-fiction book about the reign of Queen Victoria and her eating habits. However, I´m not sure how much new information about Queen Victoria the author really has provided, because everytime I told my mother an anecdote or fact from this book, she already knew everything about it by having watched the tv-series (which leads me to the conclusion that Annie Gray might have read Victoria´s diaries). 

 

In the end The Greedy Queen is an interesting look at Queen Victoria and the food and dining culture during the Victorian reign, but it is possible that this book might only be interesting for those, who don´t have a huge amount of prior knowledge about the Victorian age and life at court.

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text 2018-01-03 17:12
Reading progress update: I've read 70 out of 400 pages.
The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria - Annie Gray

A roast beef joint was also provided, in case of sudden hunger between the courses.

 

Well, I drink a glass of water to keep the sudden hunger between the courses at bay.

 

I have to admit, I would like to travel back in time and attend one of these victorian dinners, just to get an impression how it really was back then at the dining table.  

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text 2018-01-03 13:34
Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 400 pages.
The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria - Annie Gray

Á la Française dining is my kind of dining. Plates and bowles of dishes are placed on the table and everyone is allowed to help himself to the food he wants. Admittedly, nowadays the placement of these dishes isn´t meticulously planned and there isn´t a logic behind it like it had back then. Á la Française dining reminds me of the creation of a painting, but instead of paint the table-deckers use food (there is one picture of such a dining table in the book and it looks insane).

 

But there are some pitfalls to this kind of dining:

 

Participants had to be aware of each other, and be able to share and not look greedy. Tales abound of unfortunates, not brought up to its intricacies, who failed at the dinner table. In one example from York, a young clergyman ate all of the dish placed in front of him, not realising that it was for all to share. He was the guest of honour, and "his" dish, of ruffs and reeves, was a great delicacy. It had been carefully placed in front of him to indicate status, not that he could eat it all. Uproar apparently ensued when his mistake was realised.

 

Poor guy!

 

 

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text 2018-01-02 20:25
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 400 pages.
The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria - Annie Gray

I asked my best friend for this book as my Christmas gift and I´m so happy that I got it. It´s about food and Queen Victoria and how she got from a tiny waist measurement to an enormous one in later life:

 

 

 

I can´t wait to start reading it tonight.

 

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