The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant

Author: Shrabani Basu

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0525434429

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 3596

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture starring Dame Judi Dench from director Stephen Frears, releasing September 22, 2017. History’s most unlikely friendship—this is the astonishing story of Queen Victoria and her dearestcompanion, the young Indian Munshi Abdul Karim. In the twilight years of her reign, after the devastating deaths of hertwo great loves—Prince Albert and John Brown—Queen Victoria meets tall and handsome Abdul Karim, a humble servant from Agra waiting tables at her Golden Jubilee. The two form an unlikely bond and within a year Abdul becomes a powerful figure at court, the Queen’s teacher, her counsel on Urdu and Indian affairs, and a friend close to her heart. This marked the beginning of the most scandalous decade in Queen Victoria’s long reign. As the royal household roiled with resentment, Victoria and Abdul’s devotion grew in defiance. Drawn from secrets closely guarded for more than a century, Victoria & Abdul is an extraordinary and intimate history of the last years of the nineteenth-century English court and an unforgettable view onto the passions of an aging Queen.
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The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant

Author: Shrabani Basu

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0752463667

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8378

The tall, handsome Abdul Karim was just twenty-four years old when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself. Within a year, he was established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen's teacher, or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Devastated by the death of John Brown, her Scottish ghillie, the queen had a last found his replacement. But her intense and controversial relationship with the Munshi led to a near-revolt in the royal household. Victoria & Abdul examines how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of the empire, and his influence over the queen at a time when independence movements in the sub-continent were growing in force. Yet, at the heart, it is a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen, a relationship that survived the best attempts to destroy it.
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Author: Raymond Lamont-Brown

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0752468995

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 6219

A century after Queen Victoria's death, debate still rages surrounding her relationship with her gillie, John Brown. Were they ever married? What was the extraordinary hold he had over her? This biography aims to shed new light on these questions and to discover the truth behind Brown's hold on his royal employer. Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, the Queen found solace in the companionship of John Brown, who had commenced his royal employment as a stable hand. He became "The Queen's Highland Servant" in 1865 and rose to be the most influential member of the Scottish Royal Household. While the Queen could be brusque and petulant with her servants, family and ministers, she submitted to Brown's fussy organization of her domestic life, his bullying and familiarity without a murmur. Despite warnings of his unpopularity with her subjects by one Prime Minister, the Queen was adamant that Brown would not be sacked. The Queen's confidence was rewarded when Brown saved her from an assassination attempt, after which he was vaunted as a public hero. The author reveals the names of republicans and disaffected courtiers who related gossip about Queen Victoria and John Brown and their purported marriage and child, and identifies those who plotted to have Brown dismissed. Based on research in public, private and royal archives, as well as diaries and memoirs of those who knew Brown and interviews with his surviving relatives, this text analyzes the relationship between Queen Victoria and Brown.
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The Life of Noor Inayat Khan

Author: Shrabani Basu,M. R. D. Foot

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0752463683

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 5035

This is the riveting story of Noor Inayat Khan, the descendant of an Indian Prince Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, who became a British secret agent for SOE during World War II. Born into an illustrious Indian family in 1914 and brought up in the non-violent Sufi religion, Noor seemed an unlikely secret agent. Yet she became the first female radio operator to be landed in enemy-occupied France, and refused to abandon her post in Paris in 1943, continuing her work under extremely dangerous circumstances. Shrabani Basu tells the moving story of Noor's life from her birth in Moscow—where her father was a Sufi preacher—to her capture by the Germans. Noor was one of only three women SOE awarded the George Cross and, under torture, revealed nothing but her name—but not her real name, nor her code name, just the name she used to register at SOE: Nora Baker. Kept in solitary confinement, chained between hand and feet, and unable to walk upright, Noor existed on bowls of soup made from potato peelings. Ten months after she was captured, she was taken to Dachau and, on September 13, 1944, she was shot. Her last word was "Liberte."
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Author: Lee Hall

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 057134223X

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 128

View: 4864

Victoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of Queen Victoria's relationship with Abdul Karim, her Muslim manservant, who travelled from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee but within months became her personal teacher of Urdu and dedicated spiritual advisor. The unprecedented and unlikely friendship caused meltdown within the royal household, the ensuing battle royale pitting the Queen against the court and her entire family. Through the prism of a highly unusual love story, Lee Hall's Victoria & Abdul, based on the book by Shrabani Basu, explores race, religion, power and the farce of empire through the prism of a highly unusual love story.
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A novel of a young queen by the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS

Author: Daisy Goodwin

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466844108

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 8925

NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Victoria is an absolutely captivating novel of youth, love, and the often painful transition from immaturity to adulthood. Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." – AMANDA FOREMAN Drawing on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin—creator and writer of the new PBS Masterpiece drama Victoria and author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter—brings the young nineteenth-century monarch, who would go on to reign for 63 years, richly to life in this magnificent novel. Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world. Despite her age, however, the young queen is no puppet. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name. “I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.” Next, people say she must choose a husband. Everyone keeps telling her she’s destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously. On June 19th, 1837, she was a teenager. On June 20th, 1837, she was a queen. Daisy Goodwin’s impeccably researched and vividly imagined new book brings readers Queen Victoria as they have never seen her before.
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Prince Edward, the Parisian Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder

Author: Andrew Rose

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 1250041333

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 3049

From the glittering dance halls of Paris during World War I to the maisons de rendezvous, luxurious châteaus in the French countryside, The Woman Before Wallis recounts the untold story of Prince Edward's tempestuous affair with a Parisian courtesan and the scandalous aftermath that has remained secret until now. Prince Edward was the King of England when he famously abdicated his crown over his love for the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. But two decades earlier, he was an inexperienced young man, stationed behind the lines during World War I, socializing with the elite aristocracy of Europe while fellow soldiers were being shelled in the trenches. Gradually, the awkward young man, who was desperate to see action, became involved in a very different sort of action—when his path crossed with the queen of the Paris demimonde. Marguerite Alibert was a beautiful but tough Parisian who had fought her way up from street gamine to a woman haut de gamme, possibly the highest-ranking courtesan in Paris. She entertained some of the richest and most powerful men in the world—from princes to pashas. When the inexperienced Prince Edward was introduced to the alluring Marguerite, he was instantly smitten. After their tumultuous love affair ended, Edward thought he was free of Marguerite, but he was wrong. Several years later, Marguerite murdered her husband—a wealthy Egyptian playboy—by shooting him three times in the back at the Savoy Hotel in London. When Marguerite stood trial for murder, Edward was at risk of having his affair and behavior during the war exposed. What happened next was kept from the public for decades, uncovered thanks to exceptional access to unpublished documents held in the Royal Archives and private collections in England and France.
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The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Author: William Dalrymple,Anita Anand

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1635570778

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 5192

From the internationally acclaimed and bestselling historians William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, the first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, arguably the most celebrated jewel in the world. On March 29, 1849, the ten-year-old leader of the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the center of the British fort in Lahore, India. There, in a formal Act of Submission, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company swathes of the richest land in India and the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i-Noor diamond, otherwise known as the Mountain of Light. To celebrate the acquisition, the British East India Company commissioned a history of the diamond woven together from the gossip of the Delhi Bazaars. From that moment forward, the Koh-i-Noor became the most famous and mythological diamond in history, with thousands of people coming to see it at the 1851 Great Exhibition and still more thousands repeating the largely fictitious account of its passage through history. Using original eyewitness accounts and chronicles never before translated into English, Dalrymple and Anand trace the true history of the diamond and disperse the myths and fantastic tales that have long surrounded this awe-inspiring jewel. The resulting history of south and central Asia tells a true tale of greed, conquest, murder, torture, colonialism, and appropriation that shaped a continent and the Koh-i-Noor itself.
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Life in the Royal Household

Author: Kate Hubbard

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062269933

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 448

View: 8652

During her sixty-three-year reign, Queen Victoria gathered around herself a household dedicated to her service. For some, royal employment was the defining experience of their lives; for others it came as an unwelcome duty or as a prelude to greater things. Serving Victoria follows the lives of six members of her household, from the governess to the royal children, from her maid of honor to her chaplain and her personal physician. Drawing on their letters and diaries—many hitherto unpublished—Serving Victoria offers a unique insight into the Victorian court, with all its frustrations and absurdities, as well as the Queen herself, sitting squarely at its center. Seen through the eyes of her household as she traveled among Windsor, Osborne, and Balmoral, and to the French and Belgian courts, Victoria emerges as more vulnerable, more emotional, more selfish, more comical, than the austere figure depicted in her famous portraits. We see a woman who was prone to fits of giggles, who wept easily and often, who gobbled her food and shrank from confrontation but insisted on controlling the lives of those around her. We witness her extraordinary and debilitating grief at the death of her husband, Albert, and her sympathy toward the tragedies that afflicted her household. Witty, astute, and moving, Serving Victoria is a perfect foil to the pomp and circumstance—and prudery and conservatism—associated with Victoria's reign, and gives an unforgettable glimpse of what it meant to serve the Queen.
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War, secrecy, love and loss: the women of Bletchley Park tell their story

Author: Tessa Dunlop

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 1444795732

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3087

'Lively...in giving us the daily details of their lives in the women's own voices Dunlop does them and us a fine service' New Statesman 'Dunlop is engaging in her personal approach. Her obvious feminine empathy with the venerable ladies she spoke to gives her book an immediacy and intimacy.' Daily Mail 'An in-depth picture of life in Britain's wartime intelligence centre...The result is fascinating, and is made all the more touching by the developing friendships between Dunlop and her interviewees.' Financial Times The Bletchley Girls weaves together the lives of fifteen women who were all selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation - Bletchley Park. It is their story, told in their voices; Tessa met and talked to 15 veterans, often visiting them several times. Firm friendships were made as their epic journey unfolded on paper. The scale of female involvement in Britain during the Second World War wasn't matched in any other country. From 8 million working women just over 7000 were hand-picked to work at Bletchley Park and its outstations. There had always been girls at the Park but soon they outnumbered the men three to one. A refugee from Belgium, a Scottish debutante, a Jewish 14-year-old, and a factory worker from Northamptonshire - the Bletchley Girls confound stereotypes. But they all have one common bond, the war and their highly confidential part in it. In the middle of the night, hunched over meaningless pieces of paper, tending mind-blowing machines, sitting listening for hours on end, theirs was invariably confusing, monotonous and meticulous work, about which they could not breathe a word. By meeting and talking to these fascinating female secret-keepers who are still alive today, Tessa Dunlop captures their extraordinary journeys into an adult world of war, secrecy, love and loss. Through the voices of the women themselves, this is a portrait of life at Bletchley Park beyond the celebrated code-breakers, it's the story of the girls behind Britain's ability to consistently out-smart the enemy, and an insight into the women they have become.
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An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire

Author: Julia Baird

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0679605053

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 752

View: 9324

The true story for fans of the PBS Masterpiece series Victoria, this page-turning biography reveals the real woman behind the myth: a bold, glamorous, unbreakable queen—a Victoria for our times. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, this stunning new portrait is a story of love and heartbreak, of devotion and grief, of strength and resilience. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY JANET MASLIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES • ESQUIRE • THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY “Victoria the Queen, Julia Baird’s exquisitely wrought and meticulously researched biography, brushes the dusty myth off this extraordinary monarch.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice) When Victoria was born, in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would threaten many of Europe’s monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the public’s expense, and republican sentiment was growing. The Industrial Revolution was transforming the landscape, and the British Empire was commanding ever larger tracts of the globe. In a world where women were often powerless, during a century roiling with change, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand. Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. As a girl, she defied her mother’s meddling and an adviser’s bullying, forging an iron will of her own. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown and relished the freedom it brought her. At twenty, she fell passionately in love with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. After the death of her adored Albert, she began a controversial, intimate relationship with her servant John Brown. She survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security—queen of a quarter of the world’s population at the height of the British Empire’s reach. Drawing on sources that include fresh revelations about Victoria’s relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, losing parents, combating anxiety and self-doubt, finding an identity, searching for meaning. Praise for Victoria: The Queen “Fascinating.”—Vogue “In Baird’s deft portrayal, Victoria lives, breathes, and struts before us in all her complexity. . . . On a geopolitical level, Baird’s sweeping historical portrait also illuminates just how interconnected the European royal families were during this time. . . . Historical astuteness aside, the pages gallop along enhanced by titillating morsels of info.”—Esquire “A vivid portrait of one of England’s longest-reigning monarchs.”—Entertainment Weekly “[A] success from start to finish . . . [Baird’s] Victoria is a vivid, visceral creature.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Like the best biographers, Baird writes like a novelist, and her book is crammed with irresistible detail and description.”—The Seattle Times
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The Story of the Nation's Favourite Dish

Author: Shrabani Basu

Publisher: Sutton Pub Limited

ISBN: 9780750933742

Category: Cooking

Page: 258

View: 4725

Britain has become a nation of curryholics - there are more than 8000 curry restaurants in Britain, visited by two million people each week. Each year #2bn is spent in Indian restaurants - about #70 per second - while Marks and Spencers sells 18 tonnes of chicken tikka masala weekly. But how did Britain come to take curry so much to its heart? Where did the word "curry" originate? When did the first curry restaurants come to Britain? And when were the first recipes produced for those who wanted to concoct the flavoursome dishes in their home? This book traces the story of curry in Britain. The first recipe for curry powder recorded by the English was from Mrs Turnbull, who wrote down her recipes in manuscript in the mid-18th century at her home in Hyde Park, after returning from India; she also recorded how to make chutney, pilau and ginger candy. British ships went to India to find spices, and when the British returned from colonial India in the 18th century, they brought with them new tastes. Today, curry is one of the most widely available meals in Britain, produced at pubs nationwide, in supermarkets and in a plethora of restaurants to suit all purses and palates.
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Author: Richard Hough

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312303853

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 252

View: 8344

This fascinating biography, full of new and original material from a noted British historian, chronicles the life of Queen Victoria and the passionate love she shared with the German Prince Albert. Victoria's reign embraced the industrialization of Britain, the creation of numerous inventions, and advances in transport undreamed of when she had come to the throne as a girl of barely eighteen years. Above all, the morality and style of living were transformed. Gone were the days of the raffish, improvident Hanoverian kings whose behavior tended to be emulated by the people. For twenty-one years of Victoria's reign she was married to a German prince who was as determined "to be good" as the queen. Prince Albert was as responsible for the nation's renaissance as the monarch herself. He might have been the butt of the aristocracy, but that in no way diminished his influence. Victoria and Albert had nine children and became the archetype of the nineteenth-century family. But the outside world knew nothing of the passionate and turbulent relationship between the queen and her prince consort. Thunderous rows grew from the most trivial origins and threatened to tear the two apart, but always the sun of reconciliation and love finally broke through the storms.
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A heartbreaking historical novel of family secrets, betrayal and love

Author: Renita D'Silva

Publisher: Bookouture

ISBN: 1786813092

Category: Fiction

Page: N.A

View: 2620

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Indian Soldiers on the Western Front, 1914-18

Author: Shrabani Basu

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 938543649X

Category: History

Page: 252

View: 1760

Over a million Indian soldiers fought in the First World War, the largest force from the colonies and dominions. Their contribution, however, has been largely forgotten. Many soldiers were illiterate and travelled from remote villages in India to fight in the muddy trenches in France and Flanders. Many went on to win the highest bravery awards. For King and another Country tells, for the first time, the personal stories of some of these Indians who went to the Western Front: from a grand turbanned Maharaja rearing to fight for Empire to a lowly sweeper who dies in a hospital in England, from a Pathan who wins the Victoria Cross to a young pilot barely out of school. Shrabani Basu delves into archives in Britain and narratives buried in villages in India and Pakistan to recreate the War through the eyes of the Indians who fought it. There are heroic tales of bravery as well as those of despair and desperation; there are accounts of the relationships that were forged between the Indians with their British officers and how curries reached the frontline. Above all, it is the great story of how the War changed India and led, ultimately, to the call for independence.
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Author: Lorene Cary

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307778479

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 6766

In 1972 Lorene Cary, a bright, ambitious black teenager from Philadelphia, was transplanted into the formerly all-white, all-male environs of the elite St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, where she became a scholarship student in a "boot camp" for future American leaders. Like any good student, she was determined to succeed. But Cary was also determined to succeed without selling out. This wonderfully frank and perceptive memoir describes the perils and ambiguities of that double role, in which failing calculus and winning a student election could both be interpreted as betrayals of one's skin. Black Ice is also a universally recognizable document of a woman's adolescence; it is, as Houston Baker says, "a journey into selfhood that resonates with sober reflection, intellignet passion, and joyous love." From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Author: Mindy Kaling

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

ISBN: 030788628X

Category: Humor

Page: 240

View: 3229

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly! In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka. From the Hardcover edition.
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The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation

Author: Susan Williams

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 014190092X

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 624

Sir Seretse Khama, the first President of Botswana and heir apparent to the kingship of the Bangwato people, brought independence and great prosperity to his nation after colonial rule. But for six long years from 1950, Seretse had been forced into exile in England, banned from his own country. His crime? To fall in love and marry a young, white English girl, Ruth Williams. Delving into newly released records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth's story - a shocking account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home. But it is also an inspiring, triumphant tale of hope, courage and true love as with tenacity and great dignity Seretse and Ruth and the Bangwato people ovecome prejudice in their fight for justice.
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Eating with Victoria

Author: Annie Gray

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781781256831

Category: Diet

Page: 400

View: 2004

From Dr Annie Gray, presenter of BBC2's Victorian Bakers What does it mean to eat like a queen? Elizabeth gorged on sugar, Mary on chocolate and Anne was known as 'Brandy Nan'. Victoria ate all of this and more. The Greedy Queen celebrates Victoria's appetite, both for food and, indeed, for life. Born in May 1819, Victoria came 'as plump as a partridge'. In her early years she lived on milk and bread under the Kensington system; in her old age she suffered constant indigestion yet continued to over-eat. From intimate breakfasts with the King of France, to romping at tea-parties with her children, and from state balls to her last sip of milk, her life is examined through what she ate, when and with whom. In the royal household, Victoria was surrounded by ladies-in-waiting, secretaries, dressers and coachmen, but below stairs there was another category of servant: her cooks. More fundamental and yet completely hidden, they are now uncovered in their working environment for the first time. Voracious and adventurous in her tastes, Queen Victoria was head of state during a revolution in how we ate - from the highest tables to the most humble. Bursting with original research, The Greedy Queen considers Britain's most iconic monarch from a new perspective, telling the story of British food along the way.
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Author: Kate Williams

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1605988928

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 9670

A lively and poignant biography of the young princess who, at the impressionable age of eleven, found that she was now heiress to the throne, by the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Queen Victoria. We can hardly imagine a Britain without Elizabeth II on the throne. It seems to be the job she was born for. And yet for much of her early life the young princess did not know the role that her future would hold. She was our accidental Queen. Elizabeth's determination to share in the struggles of her people marked her out from a young age. Her father initially refused to let her volunteer as a nurse during the Blitz, but relented when she was 18 and allowed her to work as a mechanic and truck driver for the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. It was her forward-thinking approach that ensured that her coronation was televised, against the advice of politicians at the time. Kate Williams reveals how the 25-year-old young queen carved out a lasting role for herself amid the changes of the 20th century. Her monarchy would be a very different one to that of her parents and grandparents, and its continuing popularity in the 21st century owes much to the intelligence and elusive personality of this remarkable woman.
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