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Twilight of Splendor: The Court of Queen…

Twilight of Splendor: The Court of Queen Victoria During Her Diamond…

by Greg King

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This was an excellent book describing court life during Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year. Every aspect of the Queen's year is examined: from Christmas and Easter to summer and autumn, and also the Devonshire House Ball, as well as the actual Diamond Jubilee festivities. Greg King describes each event in such vivid detail that it's hard to put the book down. Two thumbs up! ( )
  briandrewz | Jun 1, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 047004439X, Hardcover)

Power, pageantry, and pride

Queen Victoria ruled the most powerful empire the world has ever seen, covering one fourth of the earth's land surface, reigning over subjects on every continent, and exercising undisputed mastery of the oceans in between. She was the "Grandmother of Europe," with descendants occupying the thrones of half a dozen nations, and more to come. The very era in which she lived already bore her name. In June 1897, her proud and prosperous nation marked her sixtieth year on the throne of England with the most lavish display of pomp, circumstance, wealth, and affection in its history.

Twilight of Splendor presents a breathtaking portrait of a sovereign and her empire at the height of their global power. Focusing on the spectacle of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, it combines a thrilling account of that massive celebration with an intimate exploration of Victoria's world--her splendid palaces and possessions, the grand banquets and balls she hosted, her immense wealth, the politicians and courtiers who did her bidding, her confidence and assertiveness as a ruler, her surprising personal humility, and her perpetual state of mourning for her beloved husband, Prince Albert.

Based on hundreds of published and unpublished sources from the period, including Queen Victoria's private correspondence and personal journals, Twilight of Splendor is must reading for Anglophiles, Victorian-history buffs, and anyone interested in the golden age of monarchy.

The first book to portray the queen and her court in the last years of her reign

Contrasts the queen's private and public images in her efforts to solidify the monarchy

Exposes the queen's difficult relations with her children

Explores the queen's relationship with her extended European royal relatives

Draws together for the first time hundreds of disparate sources

Includes a number of rare photographs complementing the text

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:45 -0400)

"Queen Victoria wore a somber gown of black silk, enlivened with delicate embroidery of sparkling jet and onset by layers of contrasting white lace. On her gray head a veil of Honiton lace, carefully arranged in cascades to frame her wrinkled face and sagging shoulders, was held in place by a small crown of 1,300 diamonds. The faint hint of her favorite orange-scented perfume hovered in the air as her lady in waiting adorned her widow's weeds with the blue silk moire sash and diamond star of the Order of the Garter; large diamond drop earrings and a matching collet necklace of twenty-eight immense, gleaming stones; and a diamond-fringe brooch. Her pudgy wrists and fingers glistened with gold and diamond bracelets and an array of precious rings." "On the eve of her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, the tiny, rotund, seventy-eight-year-old queen was a study in contrasts. And, much like the immense realm that was her domain, she was at the pinnacle of her authority and nearing the end of her days. Twilight of Splendor leads you on an extravagant tour into the heart of history's last and greatest royal empire: the court of Victoria Regina et Imperatrix - Queen of England and Empress of India. You'll meet the people, witness the pageantry, and feel the power that circled the globe." "Author Greg King takes you through the queen's elegant residences at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, cruising the English Channel aboard the royal yacht Victoria and Albert II, and tramping the Scottish highlands at her beloved retreat, Balmoral. You'll also attend the spectacular ceremony in honor of Victoria's sixtieth year on the throne and marvel at the Empire's splendid diversity, as represented by her parading armies - scarlet-coated Canadians and turbaned Sikhs, Egyptians in red fezzes, khaki-clad Australians, and galloping Bengal Lancers, their deadly pikes glittering in the sun like the queen's own jewels." "Most compelling of all is Victoria herself. Groomed from infancy to assume the crown and adhere to a strict moral code, she was a proud, forceful, and imperious sovereign who remained personally humble, good-humored, and keenly intelligent. King reveals that Victoria's dislike of the British nobility led her to market herself quite purposefully to the middle class, even as she suppressed news of scandals involving her children and embarked on enigmatic relationships with the notorious John Brown and her personal servant Abdul Karim."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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