Serving Victoria

Serving Victoria

Life in the Royal Household

Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
Drawing from letters and diaries, this vibrant portrait of Queen Victoria offers a unique insight into the Victorian court and the real woman behind the austere figure depicted in her famous portraits by following the lives of six members of her household. 25,000 first printing.


Based on the letters and diaries of six members of Queen Victoria's household, Serving Victoria offers unique insight into the queen and her court. Seen through the eyes of her servants—including the governess to the royal children, her maid of honor, her chaplain, and her personal physician—Victoria emerges as more vulnerable, more emotional, more selfish, more comical than the austere figure depicted in her portraits.

We see a woman prone to fits of giggles, who wept easily and often, who shrank from confrontation yet 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.

A perfect foil to the pomp and circumstance, prudery and conservatism that has become synonymous with Victoria's reign, Serving Victoria is an unforgettable glimpse of what it meant to serve the queen.

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins, 2014
Edition: First Harper Perennial edition
ISBN: 9780062269928
Branch Call Number: 941.081 HUB
Characteristics: xii, 417 pages., [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Mar 25, 2019

A very informative book that uses various primary resources (diaries, letters, etc) to explores the lives of the people who served Queen Victoria from her early reign to her final years. I enjoyed this history quite a bit, as it gave me a view of this particular queen that I had not seen before in her many biographies that I've read in the past. I very much enjoyed the exploration of how the royal court went from the wasteful, debauched place it had been under Victoria's various uncles to the staid, conservative, and dreadfully dull place it became under Victoria herself. In truth, one even can see the roots of what has become the modern royal court have their beginnings here.

Perhaps my favorite person explored in this book was Sir James Reid, who served as Victoria's physician for many years. He was with her when she died, performed her autopsy, and helped to prepare her for burial (even adding a few touches that Victoria requested but knew that her children would ignore if she left it to them).

Very interesting!

Feb 25, 2016

awesome Book

Jul 18, 2015

Based on letters and diaries, Hubbard describes Court life at Windsor, Balmoral and on the Isle of Wight. Life was boring and banal, becoming more and more middle-class and conservative over time. Unfortunately, the book does not provide much context or situate Victoria as a symbol of Empire.

Jun 18, 2015

Took this book out twice and twice I haven't been able to get though it....not what I thought it would be...not an easy read for me...but I will persevere and take it out a third time to try and complete it!!!


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