History Talk: The Victorian Era

9 hours ago, Dirtybubble said:

If this was a serious, educational documentary/movie/TV show then yeah that detail would bug but I think this show has already established itself as a soapy drama so a little fudging of details doesn't bug me that much.  So what if Victoria & Lord M relationship is amped up with lovey dove stuff.  The actors are extremely attractive and the settings are fairy tale perfect.  Enh indulge the fantasy a bit.  

We will have to agree to disagree on this point.   I don't see why a dramatization of a real person's life needs to fabricate situations.  It bothers me and I will always call foul when I encounter it. Victoria and Melbourne's real relationship provided enough fuel for discontent in their day without the oh so unoriginal idea of unattainable romance. Furthermore, I think this deceit does a huge disservice especially now since people seem more than willing to believe in alternate universes rather than facts despite how relatively easy it is to get the facts. 

Edited by taurusrose.

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11 hours ago, taurusrose said:

We will have to agree to disagree on this point.   I don't see why a dramatization of a real person's life needs to fabricate situations.  It bothers me and I will always call foul when I encounter it. Victoria and Melbourne's real relationship provided enough fuel for discontent in their day without the oh so unoriginal idea of unattainable romance. Furthermore, I think this deceit does a huge disservice especially now since people seem more than willing to believe in alternate universes rather than facts despite how relatively easy it is to get the facts. 

I agree.  I see something in next week's preview re Vic's confidence in Albert's fidelity that was EXACT opposite of how she viewed him during their engagement. I'll go into more detail why after the full ep airs, though.

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Who is the lady that keeps talking to Lord M at these social functions such as balls? 

Lady Exposition. She, or her male counterpart, is an essential character in all historical dramas! ;-)

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On 31/01/2017 at 7:06 PM, taurusrose said:

We will have to agree to disagree on this point.   I don't see why a dramatization of a real person's life needs to fabricate situations.  It bothers me and I will always call foul when I encounter it. Victoria and Melbourne's real relationship provided enough fuel for discontent in their day without the oh so unoriginal idea of unattainable romance. Furthermore, I think this deceit does a huge disservice especially now since people seem more than willing to believe in alternate universes rather than facts despite how relatively easy it is to get the facts. 

I wish that I could favorite you 100xs TAURUS--I couldn't agree more. There was just no need to make Melbourne a dreamy "love interest," when they have a truly "hot" romance between Victoria and Albert waiting in the wings.

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On 1/29/2017 at 0:00 PM, andromeda331 said:

Britain didn't have a law barring women. They went in order with the male line first, and their children but if they had all girls or only child was a girl, she'd become Queen before any uncles younger then her father and their sons. Her older uncles didn't have any legitimate children or no children in the case of Prince Frederick or in George IV's case his only legitimate child had died in childbirth, which lead to Victoria being conceived at all.

Thanks! 

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11 hours ago, ulkis said:
On 1/29/2017 at 0:00 PM, andromeda331 said:

Britain didn't have a law barring women. They went in order with the male line first, and their children but if they had all girls or only child was a girl, she'd become Queen before any uncles younger then her father and their sons. Her older uncles didn't have any legitimate children or no children in the case of Prince Frederick or in George IV's case his only legitimate child had died in childbirth, which lead to Victoria being conceived at all.

Thanks! 

However, under Salic Law, a female could not inherit the throne of Hanover, so uncle Ernest became the King of Hanover.

From Wikipedia: The British and the Hanoverian thrones separated after the death of King William IV of the United Kingdom and of Hanover, in 1837. Hanover practised Semi-Salic law, but not Britain. King William's niece, Victoria, ascended to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland, but the throne of Hanover went to William's brother Ernest, Duke of Cumberland.

If Victoria's father had died without issue, or if she had taken after her cousin Charlotte and died without issue, then Hanover and Great Britain and Ireland would have remained united under Ernest.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse.

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re- Candles


Not long ago I read a biography of Marie Antoinette, and it talked about the candles. Every day any candle that was lit (no matter for how short a time) was replaced, so the royal family would always have new candles. There was an etiquette about who had the right to sell the barely used candles. The sale of the candles was a good source of income, especially when there was a shortage of candles at the time. Those who had the right to the candle sales fiercely protected that right.

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On January 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM, andromeda331 said:

Britain didn't have a law barring women. They went in order with the male line first, and their children but if they had all girls or only child was a girl, she'd become Queen before any uncles younger then her father and their sons. Her older uncles didn't have any legitimate children or no children in the case of Prince Frederick or in George IV's case his only legitimate child had died in childbirth, which lead to Victoria being conceived at all.

I asked this question over in The Crown threads but since you mention it here, may I ask if you or anyone else knows why Britain allowed women to ascend to the throne, yet within their own aristocracy it was males only who inherited the titles and holdings?

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I had to giggle a bit when Peel (?) was it, shouted, "we don't want to be ruled by Germans!" I understand that IRL the English people didn't like Albert, but considering that both George 1 and George 2 were both German born (and George 1 was invited to rule) it struck me as amusing. I like that the episode   captured the sexual chemistry between the V & A that really existed by all reports. I hated all the extraneous Lord M stuff, although Sewell looked mighty pretty in his wedding gear, LOL. 

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Contrary to the show, Vic was TOTALLY supportive of Albert getting that extra £20,000 in that not only had Uncle Leopold gotten £50,000 /annum (as the husband of the doomed heiress presumptive)  but also this had been the standard Parliamentary allowance for all queen consorts. She considered it a slight to both herself and Albert that they wouldn't grant him the same amount  and accused the Tories of misusing her Angel (and also hated their insinuations that he'd use it to commit adultery) . She was so furious that the vowed not to invite a single Tory to the wedding but was persuaded by Lord M that there's be a national scandal if the Wellington was to be excluded.

    Also, it should be noted the King Leopold not only was the King of Belgium but he HAD remarried yet STILL got that Parliamentary allowance all those years after his doomed union with Princess Charlotte of Wales (and I think it would have made the onscreen Vic's case for chastising Uncle Leopold over his 'charity work' have more validity had this fact been mentioned and she WAS close to his wife Louise). Also, Duke Ernest of Coburg himself was married after he'd forced his sons' mother to give up custody and visitation  but he was no more faithful to his 2nd wife than he'd been to his first (despite his first wife having been the heiress to Gotha).

   Despite Prince Ernest's own liking for visiting houses of ill repute, there was no historic hint that he'd ever persuaded his younger brother to join him (and he himself already was known to have a social disease). 

    Then,too, the show missed a perfect dramatic moment by just having Albert leave Rosenau Castle without his aged maternal stepgrandmother (the Dowager Duchess of Gotha) running after him in tears screaming his name. The old woman had raised the tragic Duchess Louise from infancy and adored Albert because of his resemblance to his late mother but even his impending union to the wealthiest and most powerful heiress in Europe wasn't enough to console her over the thought of possibly never seeing him again.

 

 Lastly, Victoria was NOT tongue tied when it was suggested that Albert was Catholic countering that she was well-aware of how she HAD to marry a Protestant to keep the throne and was furious that they dared to assume she'd have chosen otherwise.

Edited by Blergh.

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8 hours ago, LiveenLetLive said:

I had to giggle a bit when Peel (?) was it, shouted, "we don't want to be ruled by Germans!" I understand that IRL the English people didn't like Albert, but considering that both George 1 and George 2 were both German born (and George 1 was invited to rule) it struck me as amusing. I like that the episode   captured the sexual chemistry between the V & A that really existed by all reports. I hated all the extraneous Lord M stuff, although Sewell looked mighty pretty in his wedding gear, LOL. 

I wondered if that was the real reason for all the hate towards Germans their own royal family is from Germany. Annoyed that you are in fact being ruled by Germans?

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(and he himself already was known to have a social disease). 

oh oh that explains why that scene of him walking in some dark alley. I have been wondering the point of that scene. Please if you don't mind what is/was his story?

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As I recall the British upper classes were never that thrilled with their German Royals, HOWEVER, said German Royals were Protestants, and the alternative were the Catholic Stuart Pretenders.  

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17 hours ago, skyways said:

oh oh that explains why that scene of him walking in some dark alley. I have been wondering the point of that scene. Please if you don't mind what is/was his story?

Skyways,

 

  Albert's older brother Ernest was the heir presumptive of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg Gotha but ,even by his younger brother's wedding, evidently was afflicted by a social disease to the point that even Albert thought he should wait until he got it 'cured' before Ernest should attempt to marry. Alas, he did not but when he was 24, he did marry a German princess named Alexandrine of Baden but their union was to be childless likely due to his VD having rendered her infertile though he was known to have nonmarital offspring (yes,  both Coburg brothers married women with the first name of Alexandrine/a).  He would become Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha upon his and Albert's father's death in 1844 .Despite this and his flagrant adultery and deliberately ignoring her, the Duchess Alexandrine adored him.  Victoria herself had initially warmed up to him more than Albert when they first met as teens but after Albert grew to manhood, she permanently set her cap toward the younger brother (good thing or else  not only would she have been miserably wed but there likely wouldn't have been anyone besides the Hanoverian uncles' progeny to succeed her).  Even though Albert had been close to Ernest in his youth, he became more dubious over him as time went on. So did Victoria- especially after Ernest became SO pro-Prussian that he attempted to sabotage the proposed union of Vic& Albert's oldest son  'Bertie'[later Edward VII]  to Princess Alexandra of Denmark even going so far as to slander her and her mother but Albert wouldn't put up with it and since Albert had sanctioned the union before his death, NOTHING was going to dissuade Vic from having it go through so it did.

    As for Ernest, he and Victoria wound up being barely cordial after Albert's death due to his attempts at interference and rather adulterous behavior and (like virtually every other member of her extended family including her own mother) viewing her as a cash cow. However; Victoria could never quite cut ties with him due to him being her adored Albert's brother. He would actually live to 75 in 1893  outliving Albert over 30 years and since he had no legit offspring the Duchy wound up being succeeded by Vic and Albert's 2nd son Alfred,Duke of Edinburgh  then her grandson Charles, Duke of Albany before Vic's own death in 1901.

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Very interesting. Based on this portrayal alone I wouldn't guess at all that he was a bit more prominent than suggested. He also comes off a bit cordial and easy going- a softie. I don"t know if you have seen the whole season but they had him enamoured with one of Victoria's ladies. I don't know how accurate this is but I am also wondering just how accurately or invested they would be in his story. Appreciate your thoughts. Sorry I am one of the few that has never heard of these people. In my part of the world we only view old Britain as Colonialists. Lol

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Victoria seemed really surprised by affairs in the last episode. Wouldn't she have been aware of her late uncles reputation? The King she seceded had ten illegitimate children and they were part of his court. Even if she came to court rarely she still would have ran into them. Her mother doesn't seem the type to not have said something to her daughter whether on a triad against her uncle, while complaining about their lack of money or to use on her daughter why she should trust her and not the King or something. Was she not aware of her uncle George IV's marriage and how well that went? How badly his attempt to divorce his wife went? Also, Victoria learns her father had an a mistress. I kept waiting for someone to point out that in that case her father wasn't married. He lived with his mistress for nearly two decades before he ended it to marry Victoria's mother.

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On 2/7/2017 at 7:54 PM, fourPLUSseven said:

This portrait of Queen V haunts me.

WEBPAGE_20170121_192131.jpg

You have my interest!  I would love for you to elaborate on why it haunts you.  I agree it is an interesting portrait.

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16 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

Victoria seemed really surprised by affairs in the last episode. Wouldn't she have been aware of her late uncles reputation? The King she seceded had ten illegitimate children and they were part of his court. Even if she came to court rarely she still would have ran into them. Her mother doesn't seem the type to not have said something to her daughter whether on a triad against her uncle, while complaining about their lack of money or to use on her daughter why she should trust her and not the King or something. Was she not aware of her uncle George IV's marriage and how well that went? How badly his attempt to divorce his wife went? Also, Victoria learns her father had an a mistress. I kept waiting for someone to point out that in that case her father wasn't married. He lived with his mistress for nearly two decades before he ended it to marry Victoria's mother.

  Yes, Victoria DID indeed know all about William IV's nonmarital offspring. In fact, the most detailed blow-by-blow account of William IV public   excoriation of the Duchess of Kent and Conroy in front of Vic at his birthday party was recorded for posterity by one of his nonmarital sons who was there. Moreover, as a child Vic's only visit with George IV also got her to meet his last longtime mistress. I doubt that folks talked about her own late father's mistress openly in front of her but likely by the time she became queen she'd heard enough whispers about his earlier life from servants and adult relatives talking among themselves.  Yes, I agree that it was different for the bachelor Duke of Kent to have a longtime mistress  then the married George IV and the Duke of Kent DID [barely] pension off and send away the mistress as soon as he married (and, by all accounts, WAS a faithful husband during his brief marriage).  Also, William IV had long since dumped his nonmarital children's mother by the time he married the future Queen Adelaide but throughout their marriage she welcomed his children into their home (which scandalized the Duchess of Kent).   As I noted earlier, Albert's side of the family had quite a few skeletons and intrigues yet it was only the Vic's 'Wicked Uncles'  lives' that were used as cautionary tales in vain efforts to attempt to keep the Prince of Wales on the straight and narrow.

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How would Albert's "inadequate" allowance have compared to the income of an ordinary person, for example, a skilled craftsman who made a comfortable living? (Of course Albert also got room and board.)

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6 hours ago, Driad said:

How would Albert's "inadequate" allowance have compared to the income of an ordinary person, for example, a skilled craftsman who made a comfortable living? (Of course Albert also got room and board.)

Don't know about the 1840s, but in the mid-to-later Victorian era, a "respectable" middle-class person might earn 300 pounds per year.  One thousand pounds per year was the start of true wealth.

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9 hours ago, Driad said:

How would Albert's "inadequate" allowance have compared to the income of an ordinary person, for example, a skilled craftsman who made a comfortable living? (Of course Albert also got room and board.)

 

2 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

Don't know about the 1840s, but in the mid-to-later Victorian era, a "respectable" middle-class person might earn 300 pounds per year.  One thousand pounds per year was the start of true wealth.

Mr. Darcy, of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (published in 1813), had ten thousand pounds a year, and was considered quite a wealthy man.  Granted that's thirty years earlier, but . . . . 

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3 hours ago, j5cochran said:

 

Mr. Darcy, of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (published in 1813), had ten thousand pounds a year, and was considered quite a wealthy man.  Granted that's thirty years earlier, but . . . . 

Good point! However; keep in mind that royals had expenses that others didn't have such as paying for entire staffs as well as maintaining horses and coaches to be able to venture places. Of course, quite a few royals (like Vic's own parents) got themselves eyeball deep in debt even with these allowances many time ordinary subjects' earned incomes. At least Victoria herself did pay off her mother and late father's decades-old debts as soon as she could when she became queen. And,to his own credit, Albert was very thrifty and encouraged her and their children to do the same. Not that all their children learned that lesson (and, yes Vic wound up being a cash cow to several generations before and after her re relatives) but  at her death Victoria had an estimated personal wealth of $100 million (in 1901 dollars!).

  As to her portrait shown on this page? I'm not haunted but reminded of WHY she was often  called 'King George III in Petticoats' . Even photographs of her next to her grandfather's paintings show  an uncanny resemblance. It seems she got the bulk of her facial features from him and her small height from her paternal grandmother Queen Charlotte -yet seems to have inherited the sea-blue eyes and brunette hair from the Coburgs.

Edited by Blergh.

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Sir Robert Peel, Melbourne's rival for PM (played by Nigel Lindsay), is considered the father of modern policing; he's why British officers are called 'bobbies.'

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Fun fact: Victoria ("Vicky") the Princess Royal and Albert Edward the Prince of Wales were "Irish twins."  Vicky was born on November 21, 1840, while "Bertie" was born on November 9, 1841.

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On 2/10/2017 at 8:51 AM, Blergh said:

  Yes, Victoria DID indeed know all about William IV's nonmarital offspring. In fact, the most detailed blow-by-blow account of William IV public   excoriation of the Duchess of Kent and Conroy in front of Vic at his birthday party was recorded for posterity by one of his nonmarital sons who was there. Moreover, as a child Vic's only visit with George IV also got her to meet his last longtime mistress. I doubt that folks talked about her own late father's mistress openly in front of her but likely by the time she became queen she'd heard enough whispers about his earlier life from servants and adult relatives talking among themselves.  Yes, I agree that it was different for the bachelor Duke of Kent to have a longtime mistress  then the married George IV and the Duke of Kent DID [barely] pension off and send away the mistress as soon as he married (and, by all accounts, WAS a faithful husband during his brief marriage).  Also, William IV had long since dumped his nonmarital children's mother by the time he married the future Queen Adelaide but throughout their marriage she welcomed his children into their home (which scandalized the Duchess of Kent).   As I noted earlier, Albert's side of the family had quite a few skeletons and intrigues yet it was only the Vic's 'Wicked Uncles'  lives' that were used as cautionary tales in vain efforts to attempt to keep the Prince of Wales on the straight and narrow.

Albert's brother Ernst did give Victoria and Albert a lot of concern as well.  He was a major womanizer in real life just as we see him in the show.  He constantly had trouble with STIs, so much so that it was believed he infected his future wife, leaving her infertile (she blamed herself for their lack of children).  I don't remember any specifics, but I do believe the V&A cautioned their sons about not ending up like him as well as Victoria's uncles.  

Although Bertie's escapades are far better known, none of Victoria's sons were as prudish as Albert.  Alfred was also very promiscuous both before and during his marriage.  Leopold (the youngest son and a hemophiliac) was kept on an incredibly tight leash by his mother due to his health, but eventually was taken to Paris by Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria for both official and, um, unofficial business.  He took other trips to the Continent from time to time until he married, but after his marriage (which was brief, as he died two years later) he seemed devoted to his wife.  Even Arthur, arguably Victoria's favorite, was thought to have had a mistress with the full knowledge and consent of his wife, who considered her a good friend. Victoria never seemed to understand that aristocratic men, even if they were later faithful to their wives, generally sowed their oats a bit in their youth.

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I thought that this recent episode was very good, especially at essaying Albert's frustration at having nothing to do (it gets better for him to the extent that some believe that his death was due to "overwork" in some ways.)  IRL Albert wrote really beautiful music, he truly was a Renaissance man. I was also stuck by Victoria's attempts to not get pregnant right away--as is well known, she was not happy being pregnant, and surely if there had been any true way not to get pregnant so often she would have taken it--9 children prematurely aged her--in her 30's she looked much older.

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I checked out five biographies about  Queen Victoria from my university library today (since I'm in charge of ordering books for our collection, I guess I'm the one who chose most of them at some point, but I've never read any of them).  I'm not going to read all of them, but I'll look through and pick out a couple to read.  We also have a bio of Albert, but I'll save that one for later.   Does anyone have a favorite biography of Victoria that they recommend?  

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On February 7, 2017 at 8:54 PM, fourPLUSseven said:

This portrait of Queen V haunts me.

I think some of the pictures of her at the end of her life are very melancholy. She starts off so young and regal and idealized in portraits, but you can see the toll it all takes on her over time. (And, of course, by the end of her life photography has also come around, which does more to strip off the veneer.)

I can't imagine being over 80 years old and still getting pressured to trot out for ceremonial events. She outlived her husband by about 40 years, outlived some of her kids, and after over half a century of that drama you can hardly blame her for not wanting to get dressed up anymore. I guess abdication due to old age has just never been in the playbook for British monarchs.

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6 hours ago, BooksRule said:

I checked out five biographies about  Queen Victoria from my university library today (since I'm in charge of ordering books for our collection, I guess I'm the one who chose most of them at some point, but I've never read any of them).  I'm not going to read all of them, but I'll look through and pick out a couple to read.  We also have a bio of Albert, but I'll save that one for later.   Does anyone have a favorite biography of Victoria that they recommend?  

 The one I think that got both Vic and Albert as close to the mark as possible was "Queen Victoria: Her Life and Times (Volume One)" by Cecil Woodham-Smith ( a woman with the given name of Cecil believe it not!). Anyway, she was given unprecedented access to the collections of the letters and journals at Windsor Castle and neither sentimentalizes nor excuses away any of the players but paints a very intriguing dual portrait. Alas, it only goes to Prince Albert's death due to Mrs. Woodham-Smith dying before she was able to compose Volume Two.

 

  Yes, due to Princess Charlotte's fate being endlessly mentioned, it's true that Victoria dreaded childbirth which she said was the ONE thing she was not looking forward to re marriage (and, years later she bemoaned not having taken a couple of years before she started having children -mainly due to not being able to gallivant with Prince Albert).

  Oh and considering that the Duke of Sussex (among other lesser ranked royals) had lived in Kensington Palace with the pre-Queen Victoria, his marital status as well as his wife's ID was very well-known to Vic. It's always odd the way most depictions of her act as though she, her mother, Lehzen and Conroy had the WHOLE Kensington Palace to themselves but it was actually a bit crowded by royal standards.

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Since one of the earliest and most important duties of sovereigns is the rapid production of the Heir & the Spare, the number of people Victoria could safely query about birth control was extremely limited.  And of those,  Lehzen was far and away the most devoted to her....  

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This episode depicted the early friendship between Albert and his originally resented secretary Anson . Ironically, Albert's initial resentment became something of a humorous stance between the two of them. Sadly, though, Anson would die in 1849 at the even-then early age of 37- and Albert  would mourn one of the few genuine friends he had made in England.

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On 2/14/2017 at 1:00 AM, Blergh said:

Oh and considering that the Duke of Sussex (among other lesser ranked royals) had lived in Kensington Palace with the pre-Queen Victoria, his marital status as well as his wife's ID was very well-known to Vic. It's always odd the way most depictions of her act as though she, her mother, Lehzen and Conroy had the WHOLE Kensington Palace to themselves but it was actually a bit crowded by royal standards.

I'm actually surprised we haven't seen Victoria's paternal aunt Sophia on the show.  Sophia literally lived *next door* to Victoria at Kensington during the latter's youth. Sophia had a good relationship with the Victoria's mother, whereas most of the Duke of Kent's siblings disliked her.  Sophia was likewise close to Lehzen, and after Victoria married Albert, he became rather fond of her as well.  What's more, aside from being the Duchess of Kent's comptroller, John Conroy was also Sophia's comptroller.  After Sophia's death in 1848, it was found that Conroy had almost certainly embezzled thousands of pounds from her.  And with all the talk of Victoria's uncles being promiscuous and given to company with "actresses" a couple of episodes ago - it's very likely that Sophia herself had an illegitimate child born from an affair with a general!

I know, I know, there's only so much that can be explored, but Sophia's absence seems especially weird to me given that of Victoria's paternal relatives, she had the most constant presence in Victoria's early life.

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We don't get these interesting stories because the downstairs stories are so important. 🙄

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16 hours ago, eejm said:

I'm actually surprised we haven't seen Victoria's paternal aunt Sophia on the show.  Sophia literally lived *next door* to Victoria at Kensington during the latter's youth. Sophia had a good relationship with the Victoria's mother, whereas most of the Duke of Kent's siblings disliked her.  Sophia was likewise close to Lehzen, and after Victoria married Albert, he became rather fond of her as well.  What's more, aside from being the Duchess of Kent's comptroller, John Conroy was also Sophia's comptroller.  After Sophia's death in 1848, it was found that Conroy had almost certainly embezzled thousands of pounds from her.  And with all the talk of Victoria's uncles being promiscuous and given to company with "actresses" a couple of episodes ago - it's very likely that Sophia herself had an illegitimate child born from an affair with a general!

I know, I know, there's only so much that can be explored, but Sophia's absence seems especially weird to me given that of Victoria's paternal relatives, she had the most constant presence in Victoria's early life.

  I think at best Victoria had mixed feelings re Princess Sophia- seeing her as a spy for Conroy (and ultimately her mother). Yes, she likely felt sorry for her aunt as she become very old and blind  towards the end of her  life and probably even softened up thanks to Albert's pleadings but that didn't erase how Victoria had had to deal with her earlier.  It's interesting that, decades after everyone else's death, one of Conroy's widowed daughters-in-law   in a vain attempt to rehabilitate his reputation, she wrote that the  Duchess of Kent had been attracted to him, to which Victoria replied (in the margins) 'Sir John's OWN imagination and Princess Sophia's fearful falseness!' . Not surprisingly, Victoria dismissed this plea  as ' a tissue of lies' (and I wonder how much of it the woman herself believed rather than simply parroting her late husband's family's spin)  but I think Victoria's responses were how she viewed the situation.

   Also, it's funny how when Princess Sophia supposedly became pregnant, she allegedly  told her father King George III that she had dropsy and after the birth told him she'd cured it by 'eating roast beef' (and her befuddled and virtually blind parent chose to believe her).

  Yes, I agree that the Hanoverians and Coburgs themselves had PLENTY of stuff that could have been depicted or even just mentioned as opposed to all these soapy dealings of fictionalized staff.

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14 hours ago, Blergh said:

  Yes, I agree that the Hanoverians and Coburgs themselves had PLENTY of stuff that could have been depicted or even just mentioned as opposed to all these soapy dealings of fictionalized staff.

This is the main reason why I don't like when it they go for soapy stuff or fictionalize things so much when it comes to shows like with the Tudors, Reign and in this show.  They have so much to work with when it comes to like with Henry VIII, his family and court. Adultery, beheadings, mistresses, illegitimate kids, border skirmishes with Scotland first with his brother-in-law and then his nephew James V. else could you ask for? Mary, Queen of Scots had practically a non-stop exciting life fleeing Scotland for the safety of France brought up in the French court, married Francis II, became Queen of France, Catherine Medici, widowed and returns to Scotland, married a moron who was murdered, etc. Victoria has so much to work with from just her relatives, figuring out how to rule, the politicians, country and finally being allowed make choices for herself that we don't need to be watching the fictionalized staff.

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Re: the birth control storyline from the last episode-- I was reading last night that Victoria found breastfeeding disgusting and gave all her children to wet nurses. Certainly typical for a high-born woman of her time, but you'd think someone might have tipped her off at some point that breastfeeding was a good means of suppressing fertility. 

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8 hours ago, LaChavalina said:

Re: the birth control storyline from the last episode-- I was reading last night that Victoria found breastfeeding disgusting and gave all her children to wet nurses. Certainly typical for a high-born woman of her time, but you'd think someone might have tipped her off at some point that breastfeeding was a good means of suppressing fertility

Would people have known that back then? 

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2 hours ago, PRgal said:

Would people have known that back then? 

I don't think they did.  Also, with the way women in Western Europe and the US breastfeed, the average period of protection from pregnancy these days is about 4 months, so it isn't that effective.  In developing countries where women tend to wear the baby on their bodies and allow them to nurse for comfort and for much longer periods than we do, breastfeeding can provide prolonged protection against pregnancy.  So, even if Victoria had known about theat particular benefit of breastfeeding, it's unlikely her lifestyle would've permitted the prolonged time at the breast needed for contraception.

Victoria pretty much found everything about pregnancy and childbirth disgusting and openly hated the whole thing.

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On 1/22/2017 at 4:02 PM, fourPLUSseven said:

I didn't know where to post this lovely portrait of young Victoria.

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Are you certain that isn't Bette Davis in Jezebel?  :)

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Nope, it's the young Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, Heiress Presumptive to William IV, later to become Queen Victoria.

It's also an early form of the selfie, a self portrait.  Victoria, Albert, and pretty much all of their children were talented artists.  Their fourth daughter, Princess Louise, was an extremely talented artist and sculptor (just finished Lucinda Hawksley's bio Queen Victoria's mysterious daughter: a biography of Princess Louise).

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20 hours ago, PRgal said:

Would people have known that back then? 

 

18 hours ago, doodlebug said:

I don't think they did. 

According to this book about Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, they knew it back in the eleventh century. Part of the reason high-born women gave their children to wet nurses was because they were expected to produce as many children as quickly as possible, and they knew they would not conceive if they were breastfeeding. (Also, breastfeeding supposedly made them unattractive, blah blah.) 

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32 minutes ago, LaChavalina said:

 

According to this book about Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, they knew it back in the eleventh century. Part of the reason high-born women gave their children to wet nurses was because they were expected to produce as many children as quickly as possible, and they knew they would not conceive if they were breastfeeding. (Also, breastfeeding supposedly made them unattractive, blah blah.) 

Since that book also contains a lot of conjecture, I'll take that with a grain of salt.  In all my reading of royal mores in medieval times, the sole idea I came away with (as far as breastfeeding is concerned) is that it was an activity beneath the station of a queen to suckle her babies period.  BTW, Matilda had 9 children and married a man who beat the snot out of her in her father's presence, claiming “he must be a man of great courage and high daring” so it's hard for me to believe that she was enlightened to what would or would not possibly delay pregnancy at the time.   

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2 hours ago, taurusrose said:

BTW, Matilda had 9 children and married a man who beat the snot out of her in her father's presence, claiming “he must be a man of great courage and high daring”

You might benefit from reading the book. William certainly did his share of violence, but the stories about him beating Matilda into accepting his engagement and parading her naked through the streets, etc., only pop up hundreds of years later and are almost certainly not accurate.

At any rate, here's another reference to breastfeeding being used in Georgian England to space out pregnancies. Honestly, given the focus on female fertility it would have been surprising if by the 19th century no one had noticed that nursing women tended not to conceive.

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"Shooting Victoria"

Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy


 I had no idea that Queen Victoria had been the victim of so many assassination attempts.  It's a good biography of her and especially the times in which she lived. 
“It is worth being shot at to see how much one is loved” — Queen Victoria, 1882

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30 minutes ago, LaChavalina said:

You might benefit from reading the book. William certainly did his share of violence, but the stories about him beating Matilda into accepting his engagement and parading her naked through the streets, etc., only pop up hundreds of years later and are almost certainly not accurate.

At any rate, here's another reference to breastfeeding being used in Georgian England to space out pregnancies. Honestly, given the focus on female fertility it would have been surprising if by the 19th century no one had noticed that nursing women tended not to conceive.

Actually, the business about William beating her comes from the introduction of said book.  As for the actual details of Matilda's life (whether or not William was violent toward her, how violent if in fact he was, her birth control measures, etc.) it is extremely difficult to know with 100% accuracy centuries later.  As to the remainder of your comment, I have no idea.  But I know that enjoying an active sex life and avoiding pregnancy was an issue for women until late 20th century.

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On 2/18/2017 at 6:50 PM, doodlebug said:

I don't think they did.  Also, with the way women in Western Europe and the US breastfeed, the average period of protection from pregnancy these days is about 4 months, so it isn't that effective.  In developing countries where women tend to wear the baby on their bodies and allow them to nurse for comfort and for much longer periods than we do, breastfeeding can provide prolonged protection against pregnancy.  So, even if Victoria had known about theat particular benefit of breastfeeding, it's unlikely her lifestyle would've permitted the prolonged time at the breast needed for contraception.

Victoria pretty much found everything about pregnancy and childbirth disgusting and openly hated the whole thing.

I found this article interesting on the subject:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/09/queen-victoria-tyrant-honest-children-sex

To me, it begs the question: was there a woman in that era who loved pregnancy and childbirth? Seems to me it would have been scary, painful, bloody and anxiety provoking. Even if you love children and want them, it's not like today when we first worlders can be relatively optimistic about childbirth, where we know the pain can be better managed, and we will not likely fall victim to childbed fever or hemorrhage.  

We can romanticize the experience, I think she couldn't.

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http://blog.catherinedelors.com/birth-control-in-the-18th-century/

 

This blog post talks about even illiterate women in the 18th century recognizing breastfeeding as a form of birth control.  I would be shocked if nobody suggested it to Victoria in the 19th century.  I think she was just too eager to haveher body back and repulsed by it.  Might have cut down on the babies though...

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