FOR LOVE, GLORY, AND HONOR
HER LITTLE MAJESTY: THE LIFE OF QUEEN VICTORIA
Author: Carolly Erickson
November 1, 1999
FOR LOVE, GLORY, AND HONOR
Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria, written by Carolly Erickson, was a candid tale of the life of Victoria, a British queen whose obstinate and pertinacious behavior helped to maintain England’s impenetrable reign over the rest of the world. Erickson aimed to prove that women, such as Victoria, were entirely competent of governing themselves and others, even though women were regarded as inferior and in need of male supervision. The author successfully accomplished her purpose of depicting Victoria in a positive light by imforming the reader of how she managed to triumph over adversity despiite her callous upbringing.
Princess Alexandria Victoria was born on May 24, 1819, to the Duke and Duchess of Kent in Kensington Palace. Unfortunately, the Duke passed away shortly after her birth. Therefore, Victoria’s upbringing was left in the hands of her avaricious and irascible mother in the hands of her father’s tyrannical equerry, Captain Conroy. With only their own self-interests in mind, Victoria’s care takers attempted to deprive the young princess of her childhood by enforcing stringent rules and by confining her to the palace. Her own relatives tired to deny her noteworthy status of being third in line for the throne, and they publicly regarded her as an intruder. However, there were, in fact, many favorable aspects of Victoria;s childhood and adolescence. Victoria was taught the grace of dance and the beauty of art in her childhood, and she learned to appreciate her future role as queen through her extensive study of British history. She was quite a determined and uncompromising young princess, and this attitude remained with her throughout her reign as Queen of England.
Soon after the death of King William IV, Princess Victoria was crowned as queen at the legal age of eighteen. Queen Victoria aspired to be a fit and upright ruler of England, and iwth the assistance of the English government, Victoria was able to constitute order in all areas of her empire. Her marriage to her cousin, Prince Albert of Sax-Coburg-Gotha, was very advantageous and favorable for both Victoria and her empire. Albert privided the emotional stability that Victoria required in that period of time, and he also supplied England with his wonderful expertise in political and social issues. Their marriage produced nine children who continued this English dynasty after the death of their parents. Albert’s tragic death had a detrimental impact on Victoria’s life because her husbands served as an emotional crutch for her, and she suddenly felt overwhelmed by her responsibilities as queen. However, with the guidance of her extraordinary prime ministers, Victoria was able to be victorious in wars in Crimea an Prussia. Uner Victoria’s rule, England was able to assert its power over India, a country in which Victoria attempted to gain popularity among its citizens. Queen Victoria also organized housing arrangements for England’s less fortunate citizens and medical care for the workmen in England’s factories. There were incessant disputes among the Whigs and Tories in Parliament, which Victoria successfully ceased, and there were difficulties concerning the British occupation of Sudan, Africa. However, Victoria was able to overcome these hardships and to gain the admiration of her kingdom. On January 22, 1901, Queen Victoria died at the age of eighty one, leaving behind an empire that lamented over the death of such a remarkable ruler.
Carolly Erickson’s biography of Queen Victoria provided an equitable insight into Victoira’s life as queen. Erickson supplied elaborate descriptions of England’s palaces and royal celebrations, allowing the reader to easily envision these places and festivities. For example, the author described the House of Windsor with a great deal of detail when writing, Beyond the magnificent furnishings, glowing tapestries, and fine paintings that adorned the ancient castle’s living quarters, there were riches brought from India, booty taken from Tippoo Sahib, including a golden tiger’s head and sparkling sculpted peacock studded with rubies and emeralds.
Furthermore, the author also included excerpts from Victoria’s private journal, which she maintained in the years before and during her rule. These excerpts allowed the reader to view Victoria with feelings of admiration and enderment. The reader was able to share in Victoria’s triumphs and tragedies and to understand the emotions that she felt during certain episodes in her life. For instance, Victoria was terribly grieved after the death of her beloved husband, and she felt as if she was lacking part of her soal because of his untimely death. The readers gained an insight into her pain when reading an excerpt from her journal in which she said, I stood up, kissing his dear heavenly forehead and called out in a bitter agonizing cry: ?Oh! my dear darling!’ and then dropped on my knees in mute, distracted despair, unable to utter a word or shed a tear. This biography was a delight and pleasure to read because of these personal excerpts taken from Victoria’s private diary. Victoria often imparted information in the entries of her journal, recounting her feelings toward some of her political advisors. She once wrote of a dispute with one of her advisors and of her animosity toward him. She said, I pitched into him with a vehemence and indignation-which was at any rate inspired by the British Lion-and he remaine shrinking but still craven-hearted. These variety of excerpts added an overall enjoyable quality to this masterpiece of a biography, which was very difficult to put aside until the very end because it was vivid portrait of the former empress.
Erickson masterfully described Queen Victoria’s positive and negative traits in this well-written biography. The author showed that despite her short and pauchy physique, Victoria was able to become a domineering figure in England, leaving an everlasting mark on English society. Queen Victoria was a determined, high-minded, and often ill-natured woman, yet these traits, which seemed negative, were actually quite admirable. It was due to this obstinacy that Victoria was able to assert here power over her empire. Queen Victoria was the pride of England, and she was truly concerned for the well-being of her nation because everything she did was for the love, glory, and honor of her empire.
Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria was published in 1997 by Simon and Schusterin, the United States of America. The author, Carollly Erickson, is quite an accomplished and eminent biographer who has written eleven highly acclaimed biogaphies while residing in here home in Hawaii. She is a celebrated author whose biographies and histories have reached audiences all around the world.
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