We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

by Gillian Gill


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A twenty-first-century perspective on a giant of English history, Queen Victoria, and her marriage to German Prince Albert—timed to benefit from the release of the upcoming film The Young Victoria

Known as one of history’s most powerful and happily married couples, Victoria and Albert together ruled the British Empire for twenty years at the peak of its strength in mid-nineteenth century. The standard account of their union is that young Victoria, married at nineteen, was only too happy to hand over the reins of power to her husband, willingly taking a back seat to bear and raise their nine children.

A well-known chronicler of the lives of achieving women, author Gillian Gill rejects this outdated interpretation, retelling the couple’s story from a fresh, modern perspective. Victoria hated pregnancy, and as much as she loved Albert, she never let him impinge on her power. Gill makes the case that Albert’s early death was the...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345484055
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2009
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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We Two 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This biography of the lives of Queen Victoria and Princess Albert was fascinating for its detail, insight into personal issues and the effect of Albert's reach for power despite the priority of Victoria. The tension between Victoria and her mother, the effects of Albert's Uncle Leopold to place him on the throne in England and other conflicts in the lives of royalty are the time make this a very fascinating reading. Albert tried to rule England even though he was not made more than Prince Consort. In this sense Victoria and Albert were rivals. It turns out that the prudishness of the "Victorian" era came significantly from Albert's views of proper behavior and a reaction within England to the behavior of the previous Hanoverian Kings. The impact of Victoria's many children marrying into other royal families - specifically the hemophilia gene- is also covered and illustrates the effects of individuals and personalities. Lots of information is known because the letter correspondence of both royal figures was kept and reveals a lot. Another contradiction is the effect of Victoria after Albert's death to document all his virtues and conceal his imperfections. The book does not sugarcoat the situation since a number of peole attempted to manipulate Victoria for their own purposes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters appear to come alive from the written pages. You have the feeling you are right there with them. Victoria was so young when see married Albert and then the rate of having her children was really alarming. It is a wonder she survived the birth of each child considering the lack of knowledge, at that time, in child birth.She was highly respected as a Queen, yes and loved too. I had the opinion Albert was quite frustrated as he never obtained the control or responsibilies he felt he should have. He felt entitled because he was her husband. No doubt they truly loved each other and Victoria took his death very hard. Lots of good character building of persons who surrounded her and also members of Parliment.
ReaderinMA More than 1 year ago
This is one of the very best biographies I have ever read. Incredible detail/research - just amazing. Gill pulls back the veil from not only the marriage of Victoria and Albert, but from the intrigues of the royal houses of Europe in the 19th century. Scholarly but reads like a novel...compelling to the very last page. Don't miss this!
klneff More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was a wonderful new look at an often written about relationship. The author shows that Albert and Victoria were pawns within their family. The marriage between two cousins, was planned from childhood. Theirs was ineffect an arranged marriage, but they happened to find a true partnership and even love. Victoria had the crown, but very early on Albert was King. He delt with the demands of the political role of the Monarchy, and the private tantrums of his wife. The demands of his private and public life aged him rapidly, and probably contributed to his early death. Victoria mourned him for the rest of her life.
harstan More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating biography that turns upside down the love story of Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert as they cherished one another while battling for dominance of their relationship, which denoted dominance of the British Empire. In other words the early period until Albert's death could easily be labeled Albertan-Victorian age. Prince Albert was a classic example of employing a defense mechanism of being everything his family was not and not being anything they were. Thus he came across as prim, proper and starched, which ironically set the future's look back at the Victorian Age are his belief on how a ruler should behave. He kept his Queen seemingly pregnant all the time and was a major supporter of science and technology. When he died in 1861, Victoria grieved her loss for several years. However, when she finally moved on, the Victorian Age blossomed as if the student had learned from her late master while she described his virtues and buried with him his faults. This is a terrific biography of the nineteenth century's most powerful "power couple" as each thrived in their love and rivalry, especially Victoria. Gillian Gill makes a strong case that Albert was in some ways her mentor as much as her partner. With numerous illustrations and letters included, fans will relish this profound fresh look at We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful and engaging account of the complex and fascinating lives of Queen Victoia and her Prince Albert. I could not put it down... as enjoyed the insight to a real power couple who changed the world.
Barbaraketubah More than 1 year ago
As these type of books go, it is pretty good, but I found it a bit difficult reading trying to keep track of everyone and the history behind ascending to the throne. Truthfully, I stopped reading about halfway through, too dry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Celticgal More than 1 year ago
when I sqw the 500 pages I must admit this put me off about this book but after reading the reviews and seeing the movie Young Victoria" I was anxious to see what the real story was all about. What a complex relationship this was. Lovers, Best Friends, Enemies & Rivals all in one marriage. The Queen was not the total monarch that I thought she would be but, it turns out to be Albert. Quite an amazing read. I would recommend this to everyone who loves and has always been intrigues by British history. You will find it very interesting!
lsucntrygrl More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I took a Hanoverian/Victorian class in college because I love that era but the teacher focused more on the political and military aspects. I was interested in learning about Victoria and Albert a bit more but they were glossed over as background figures. This book turns these untouchable figures into human beings. The author uses excerpts from Victoria's and Albert's diaries and letters, allowing the reader to see the personal side of the rulers, both the good and the bad. You learn things you won't normally learn in an academic setting. Overall, this book is very good. I don't want to put it down. Great work!
AngieN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well-researched and written, but stretched perhaps a bit too far. The author does a fantastic job of fleshing out the dynamics of the marriage between two fascinating people who were in many ways polar opposites. I loved them both but occasionally wanted to slap them at the same time (good portrait of a marriage, right :->)!
vrchristensen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is truly one of the best non fiction books I've ever read. Granted, I'm particularly infatuated with the Victorian era, but I was pleasantly surprised in this to find it both accessible and concise. Much background history is discussed, which might ordinarily bog down the narrative, but in this case it is all presented in the clearest and most insightful of ways. That Victoria was fated for the throne is perhaps evidenced by the complexity of circumstances that surround her history and upbringing. Her influence was magnificent, and is still felt today. I'm grateful for this re-examination of the couple and what they did for England and the Western world. The last several decades have judged them unduly harshly, in my opinion. It's a pleasant read throughout. I read it slowly, since there was so much information to digest, but it was certainly no difficult book to read, and even managed to evoke a little of the flavour of the era. I'm glad I found this book. I found it both informative and inspiring.
LynnB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a credible biography of Victoria and Albert, this probably won't satisfy you. It is written in an easy-flowing, engaging style, but makes assertions that are not backed up. There are detailed notes, but no references in the text to point you to them. Perhaps the author's degree in literature led her to value a story that flowed over a properly documented text.I was reading this for a book club and had to finish it. Therefore, I decided to relax about the lack of academic rigour and read this as a story based (largely, I hope) on fact rather than a true biography. That helped me enjoy the book, and I learned about aspects of Victorian society I wasn't previously aware of. It is a compelling tale of a marriage and the challenges of balancing being Queen of England with being a dutiful, obedient wife and a mother to nine children. Albert, too, struggles with his non-traditional role of being head of the household but not the head of state. It's also a harrowing tale of child rearing in Victorian royal families -- it's amazing people like Victoria and her son Bertie were able to accomplish what they did given how they were raised. Bottom line: recommended for people who have a general interest in Victorian times or the life of royals, but not for those with a deeper interest in history or biography.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well researched and factual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its just like reading a history book.
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auntmary More than 1 year ago
Did not expect to learn so much new information or to have it be so interesting, but this book gave a totally new slant and kept me interested to the very end. Very pleased with the purchase.
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rcf1208 More than 1 year ago
Excellently written. New twist on the V & A dynamic. New opinions IMO astleast as far as P.A. is concerned... Still a good read
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