Victoria's Daughters

Five women who shared one of the most extraordinary and privileged sisterhoods of all timeVicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice were historically unique sisters, born to a sovereign who ruled over a quarter of the earth s people and who gave her name to an era Queen Victoria Two of these princesses would themselves produce children of immense consequence All fivFive women who shared one of the most extraordinary and privileged sisterhoods of all timeVicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice were historically unique sisters, born to a sovereign who ruled over a quarter of the earth s people and who gave her name to an era Queen Victoria Two of these princesses would themselves produce children of immense consequence All five would face the social restrictions and familial machinations borne by ninetheenth century women of far less exalted class.Researched at the houses and palaces of its five subjects in London, Scotland, Berlin, Darmstadt, and Ottawa Victoria s Daughters examines a generation of royal women who were dominated by their mother, married off as much for political advantage as for love, and passed over entirely when their brother Bertie ascended to the throne Packard, an experienced biographer whose last book chronicled Victoria s final days, provides valuable insights into their complex, oft tragic lives as scions of Europe s most influential dynasty, and daughters of their own very troubled times.
Victoria s Daughters Five women who shared one of the most extraordinary and privileged sisterhoods of all timeVicky Alice Helena Louise and Beatrice were historically unique sisters born to a sovereign who ruled ove

  • Title: Victoria's Daughters
  • Author: Jerrold M. Packard
  • ISBN: 9780312244965
  • Page: 395
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Victoria's Daughters”

    1. Queen Victoria's eldest daughter was born 17 years before the youngest. Her daughters had drastically different relationships with their parents: their mother alternated between codependency and harsh dislike for each of them. Their father lavished attention on some and gave almost none to others: Vicky was her father's star pupil, and recieved his training before she married into the Prussian royal family, while Beatrice was only four when her father died. Vicky was an intellectual, Alice had a [...]

    2. A hugely informative and entertaining book about Queen Victoria and Prince Consort Albert's five daughters (four sons also lived to maturity), who among them gave birth to a future kaiser (Wilhelm II), tsarina (Alexandra, she of the untimely end on 1918), and queen (Victoria Eugenia of Spain), as well as numerous princes, princesses, and other royalty. Without being racy or "as torn from the pages of "People" magazine, I found this to be a real page-turner. More photographs of the family plus so [...]

    3. If the average of 4 stars for this book annoys me--it would have driven the previous owner of my copy completely mad. Opinionated garbage spackled with typos and errors. I appreciate marginalia so much and to the reader who went before me with this, special special kudos. I don't think I've ever seen a book marked up so much with angry amendments. But heck, on the flyleaf it says that Queen Mary died in 1923--when no, no she obviously didn't, and the many, many errors merrily roll on from there. [...]

    4. I've never found the Victorian monarchs quite so interesting as their Tudor ancestors and I wondered if this book would hold my attention. No worries; though the Victorian princesses often lead uneventful (sometimes stultifyingly boring) lives and they weren't particularly important as historical/dynastic figures, Packard was able to maintain my interest in them and I got a good sense of the personality of each one. It was not easy being a child of Queen Victoria, who comes off as a neurotic and [...]

    5. An enjoyable read about Queen Victoria`s daughters. There was a lot of interesting references and correspondence but the author did take some liberties with his conjecture. I found the book very difficult to follow as the time frames and characters jumped back and forth. Further, it was confusing to keep track of the characters as the author used nicknames, titles or given names interchangeably. That's a lot of characters, titles, given names, geography and time frames to keep track of. Lastly, [...]

    6. This is a very poorly written book. The author jumps from one topic to the next, without any description as to how they link together. He is also consistently vague on details. It might have been better if there were a section on each daughter, without trying to blend them all together. Packard is also incredibly subjective in his writing. There were moments where I was in shock at the vehemence of his dislike for certain personages; the negative bias he feels towards most of the cast of charact [...]

    7. I enjoyed this read, especially since I knew little about these women. Discovering their distinct personalities, their challenges, their lifestyles, and their families is fascinating and I give Packard huge kudos for telling their stories in succinct, engaging ways.There are two reasons I only give it three stars: (1) While Packard did a great job making each of the 5 daughters distinct, I had a really difficult time telling the other various characters apart, especially when it gets into the er [...]

    8. Totally absorbing and filled with fascinating information on the five daughters and less, of course, on the sons. Couldn't help but see some parallels to the way the Mitford sisters were raised: both families discouraged from having outside friends and were educated at home. Queen Victoria comes off as all-controlling and humorless. No talking at meals and continual mourning for Albert is a constant theme she imposes on everyone. One finishes the book wanting to know more about these daughters a [...]

    9. I learned a lot from this book. I've been watching the PBS Series "Young Victoria" and wondered about her life after her consort, Albert, died. Victoria's mothering skills left a lot to be desired. I've always wondered how the disease, hemophilia, crept into the DNA of European royalty. The author explains how Victoria and Albert's daughters became carriers. I didn't like the author's comments on the relative attractiveness of the daughters. Sometimes he was downright mean.

    10. This book has a lot of information in it!! The author covers the political scene, letters between the individuals and offers his opinion as well.I did learn a lot but it is a dense read!!Great book to read if you needed to do a report/paper on any of these people.

    11. You mustn’t think that I did not like this book because it took me over half a year to read it! It took that long because it was on my Ipod so I would only read a few paragraphs at a time. Nevertheless, I loved it; every time I picked it up I was interested. It’s the PERFECT biography book for me, or in this case the biography of 5 people. FULL of interesting information and never once did I start fading out because it was too dreary or just a bunch of dry names and dates… of course, I am [...]

    12. This book was really great. I love the Victorian Age, especially learning about Victoria's family. This book obviously leads you through the lives of Victoria's five daughters, which was exciting for me, because except for , I really didn't know much about them. From each of their births, to their marriages, childrens' births and marriages, and their deaths, this book covers it all. Now I kind of wish that I can find a similar book about Victoria's sons, excluding Bertie, of which a lot is alrea [...]

    13. Another serendipitous find at the SPCA thrift store.Probably just me, but I found it difficult to remember who was who in the sweep-of-history sections of this book. All those people with the same names, and then there were all those nicknames, too.However, I cheerfully wallowed in the startling-behaviors-of-the-ruling-class sections, emitting startled shrieks of laughter each time I encountered a fresh example of entitlement and social power.Reading this in October inspired me to think that if [...]

    14. Not riveting material, and I don't understand where the comments regarding the relative attractiveness of each daughter was coming from. Who decided that Lenchen is plain, for instance? Why is it necessary to comment repeatedly on how "matronly" Beatrice was? It made me wonder as I was reading it -- was this written by a man? Yes? well, there goes his credibility. If the opinion was based off of popular accounts, that's one thing, but it seemed more personal and intrusive than that. He did do a [...]

    15. So far this is for sure the most foreboding biography I've ever read. Every incident is a harbinger of later doom and gloom. Every character trait is deterministic of future disastrous consequences. I mean, good lord, I get it, royal lives weren't a walk in the park and half of these people basically caused WWI with poor mothering but seriously there must've been some happy moments, right?ETA: Nope. No happy moments. Seriously the most psychologically causal history book I've ever read. I'm not [...]

    16. A very informative & interesting read on the children of Queen Victoria. There is a lot of interesting tid bits in here. The relationships they have with their mother, the Queen, is varied with each child, & over time (as with most mother-child relationships). The entire concept of Royalty & what that imposes on their personal relationships, thoughts, ideas is very interesting to me.

    17. Interesting if you like history, but not so well-written. Author seems to make lots of unsupported assertions, and there's a lot of "so and so, second cousin of Baroness etc who was also the son of prince blah". Hard to follow how everyone is related, but that may be more the fault of the royal families of Europe than of the author!

    18. I thought it was good fun. Queen Victoria might not have been a model mother (especially by contemporary standards) but she was wicked good at marrying off members of her family. I was fascinated by her devotion to (obsession with?) her husband.

    19. There were five of them: Vicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrix, as well as four sons. For all her reputation as a prude, Queen Victoria was a person who enjoyed the pleasures of the marriage bed. Not so much the resulting children. All her love was reserved for Alfred with very little left over for the children.Packer's book is fascinating in spite of his bias against independent, intelligent women. He blames Vicky for the problems in Prussia, in spite of her efforts to head off the worst of [...]

    20. I love Queen Victoria and always wanted to read about the story of her children, so I picked up Victoria's Daughters to get into it. I knew some general details of their lives, but not too much, that's why this book was good as a panoramic window to that era. I feel like I know a little more about each one of them and of Queen Victoria herself, as well as her grandchildren.I love Vicky, Alice and Louise; they just seem to have spunk and a strong sense of independence. I adored Alice's compassion [...]

    21. SIGH. As other reviewers have noted, this book has numerous inaccuracies. Dates or facts are outright wrong in spots. For instance, at one point Packard claims that the future Kaiser Wilhelm II fell in love with Ella of Hesse after she was already engaged. This isl kinds of confusing, as Ella didn't become engaged until 1883. Meanwhile, Willy himself got married in 1881. So that makes no sense. Packard also tried to write this off as a mere passing flirtation when, in fact, he proposed to Ella ( [...]

    22. Really enjoyed this as a follow-up to reading "Victoria." Would recommend it to someone who has a specific interest in Queen Victoria's family. If you're not super interested in the subject matter, stay away from this book. It's very detailed and would feel like a dull history lesson if you aren't interested in European history. But that's not me! I liked learning more about how each daughter became more and more involved in other European countries after marrying into another royal family. It w [...]

    23. Very well presented information but due to the number of people involved (9 children resulting in 40 grandchildren) the story was unavoidably confusing. I couldn't have begun to keep names, nicknames, spouses and relatives straight without the aid of the family tree provided. Even with that, I would've appreciated names dates and countries when only 1 son, 2 daughters appeared. I was completely confused by the Russian relationship until I started reading Simon SebagMontefiore's Romanoff biograph [...]

    24. I enjoyed this book. I have read a few books about Queen Victoria but they have mostly focused on her childhood, early years and relationship with Albert. I found this a quick read, it was entertaining. Often times it read as a novel, but with so, SO, SO many in this cast of characters even with a list of Principal Characters it can be difficult to keep track of who's who. The author does certainly have strong opinions, that were detracting & I certainly did not agree with, but they did not [...]

    25. While the book is about the five daughters of Queen Victoria it would have seemed more complete to have included some information about the four sons or at least the three sons who didn't succeed to the throne. Although there is so much factual information shared that it is challenging enough just to keep up with the offspring and relationships of just the five female siblings. No one ever said the Victorian era wasn't without its dysfunction and that seemed to begin with the Queen herself. Her [...]

    26. Overall, I was disappointed in this book. It was light on details and heavily judgmental toward its cast of characters. In such a large family and with parents who pulled back more with each child, their relationships with each other would have been hugely influential and they're barely touched upon in the book. My initial annoyance at spelling errors and incorrect information gave way to my impatience of larger structural and narrative issues. There are other, much better resources available to [...]

    27. Really enjoyed the first half of the book, but the second half started to become uninteresting due to the amount of details about the daughters. As they got older, married, had children and so forth -- it became difficult to keep track of them. The genealogy chart on the front cover was helpful and after finishing the book, I had a much better understanding as to the intertwined relationships between the rulers of various countries and the children of Queen Victoria.

    28. I love historical novels. This was a good historical book, seemed to be well researched. Was hard to keep track of all Victoria's grandchildren, etc but I have always found that true will all the similar names. Did a nice job referencing their letters (and putting snippets into the book). Lots of footnotes, but didn't really distract from the story. Only people who seriously enjoy history will probably like this -- too much detail -- definitely not a light story/novel.

    29. As my knowledge of the Victorian era is spotty at best, I thought this book would give me an interesting and informative view of it. It did, but it could probably have been edited down to half the length and still have contained just as much of interest and just as much information. The author spends much of the first third of the book portending tragedy and doom for his subjects, and another third of the book presenting his conclusions about their lives and experiences, with precious few illust [...]

    30. A study of Queen Victoria's 5 daughters. I always love this topic, but found the structure of the book a little cumbersome. The author also states what the characters were thinking, when I find it hard for him to know this. Nonetheless, the historical stuff was presented well, and I learned a lot about the royal family of that period (as well as before and after).

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