This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers,…

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals (2009)

by Gillian Gill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4261537,601 (3.96)22



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Really enjoyed it. I liked learning more about their marriage ( )
  mollygerry | Nov 19, 2018 |
A well-written, engaging look at the marriage of Victoria and Albert. I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, if royal excess makes you impatient, you might not. I was struck by what sad lives they had. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I'm not really sure if this book covered much new ground...I thought it was going to paint a different picture of Victoria than the one of her staying at home while her husband ran the country. ( )
  bookweaver | Jan 13, 2017 |
I knew quite a bit about Victorian culture, but not a lot about Victoria and Albert themselves. This was very readable and kept me engaged by focusing on the two personalities and how they influenced political policy. I was interested to see the close relationship between Victoria and Albert and their uncle, King Leopold of Belgium, the man responsible for one of the most heinous genocides of a genocide-prone era.
( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
A well-written, engaging look at the marriage of Victoria and Albert. I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, if royal excess makes you impatient, you might not. I was struck by what sad lives they had. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
In We Two, Gillian Gill describes Victoria and Albert's tempestuous yet successful marriage, and the real story behind the powerful couple whom she describes as rulers, partners and rivals.
added by bongiovi | editNPR (Jan 20, 2010)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gillian Gillprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bachman, Barbara M.Book Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fyfe, LisaJacket Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
A cat may look at a king

For Rose

and For All My Grandchildren
First words
Prelude to a Marriage
Windsor Castle, October 10, 1839

All afternoon Queen Victoria has been expecting the arrival of her cousin Albert, and she was getting edgier by the minute. Louis XIV had never had to wait, yet here she was, monarch to an empire that put the Sun King's France to shame, cooling her heels until some third-rank German prince arrived and she could go in for dinner. As all the courts of Europe knew, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, dutifully chaperoned by his elder brother, Ernest, was coming to Windsor so that the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland could look him over and decide if she wanted to marry him. How dare that young man be late?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Charlotte and Leopold

Wanted, an heir to the throne, preferably male

The wife takes the child

That dismal existence

The Kensington system

Fighting back

Victoria, virgin queen

The Coburg legacy

A dynastic marriage

The paradise of our childhood

Training for the big race

Victoria plans her marriage

Bearing the fruits of desire

Whigs and Tories

Dearest diary

Albert takes charge

The court of St. Albert's

Finding friends

A home of our own

The greatest show on earth

Lord Palmerston says no

Blue blood and red

French interlude

The Prussian alliance

Father and son

Problems in a marriage

"I do not cling to life as you do"

Mourning a prince.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345520017, Paperback)

Book Description
It was the most influential marriage of the nineteenth century--and one of history’s most enduring love stories. Traditional biographies tell us that Queen Victoria inherited the throne as a naïve teenager, when the British Empire was at the height of its power, and seemed doomed to find failure as a monarch and misery as a woman until she married her German cousin Albert and accepted him as her lord and master. Now renowned chronicler Gillian Gill turns this familiar story on its head, revealing a strong, feisty queen and a brilliant, fragile prince working together to build a family based on support, trust, and fidelity, qualities neither had seen much of as children. The love affair that emerges is far more captivating, complex, and relevant than that depicted in any previous account.

The epic relationship began poorly. The cousins first met as teenagers for a few brief, awkward, chaperoned weeks in 1836. At seventeen, charming rather than beautiful, Victoria already “showed signs of wanting her own way.” Albert, the boy who had been groomed for her since birth, was chubby, self-absorbed, and showed no interest in girls, let alone this princess. So when they met again in 1839 as queen and presumed prince-consort-to-be, neither had particularly high hopes. But the queen was delighted to discover a grown man, refined, accomplished, and whiskered. “Albert is beautiful!” Victoria wrote, and she proposed just three days later.

As Gill reveals, Victoria and Albert entered their marriage longing for intimate companionship, yet each was determined to be the ruler. This dynamic would continue through the years--each spouse, headstrong and impassioned, eager to lead the marriage on his or her own terms. For two decades, Victoria and Albert engaged in a very public contest for dominance. Against all odds, the marriage succeeded, but it was always a work in progress. And in the end, it was Albert’s early death that set the Queen free to create the myth of her marriage as a peaceful idyll and her husband as Galahad, pure and perfect.

As Gill shows, the marriage of Victoria and Albert was great not because it was perfect but because it was passionate and complicated. Wonderfully nuanced, surprising, often acerbic--and informed by revealing excerpts from the pair’s journals and letters--We Two is a revolutionary portrait of a queen and her prince, a fascinating modern perspective on a couple who have become a legend.

Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Gillian Gill

When I was growing up in South Wales, the part of Great Britain best known for coal mines, people like me did not write about royalty. We left that to “nobs” like Countess Longford (alias Elizabeth Longford) who were actually invited to coronations or to people like Cecil Woodham-Smith whose double-barrelled surname and weird given name proclaimed her membership of the elite public (i.e. private) school set. My family was the kind that lined the route on a rare royal visit to our provincial city, waving tiny union jacks.

Until my teens, my sister Rose and I were reared jointly by our mother and her mother. Mummy and Nana lived together all their lives, quarreled every day, but shared a passion for the British royal family. In our house, the pantheon of royals was worshipped with more fervor and regularity than we mustered at the plain little branch of the Church of Wales just around the corner. The royals were glamour and romance, items severely rationed in post-war Britain.

1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, was a banner year for our family. My mother bought a television set and invited her humbler relatives over to squint at the magnificent event on our twelve inch, black and white set. There followed a street party and my grandmother, who had once apprenticed as a milliner, contrived marvelous costumes for Rose and me. I was actually queen for the day with a long white dress, purple robe, and crown, orb, and scepter.

But once my father retired from the Merchant Navy and took his place in the family, his carefully informed left-wing politics took hold of me and my grandmother’s reverence for the royal family began to seem silly and ignorant. When I was about seventeen, I made some flip remark about the abdication of King Edward VIII which so infuriated Nana that she slapped my face. At the time I was shocked and wholly at a loss. Now I think I understand. A handsome and engaging young king had once come to South Wales and spoken movingly of the plight of the miners. Women of my grandmother’s generation had never forgotten it. Like the rest of the general public in Britain, she had been carefully shielded by the press from any knowledge of Edward VIII’s prenuptial dalliances and fascist opinions.

By 1965 I was a graduate of Cambridge University, the first of my family to attend university and a budding academic. When it was announced that the Queen Mother would come to New Hall, my Cambridge college, to open the new buildings, I was blasé to the point of disdain. But when I found myself curtseying and carefully shaking the tips of Her Majesty’s gloved fingers, I was swept away by the mystique of royalty. How delightful the Queen was in person and how proud my grandmother would be when she saw the photo of me with the Queen Mum.

All of which is to explain why my book about Queen Victoria is prefaced by the old English saying: “A cat may look at a king.” --Gillian Gill

(Photo © Linda Crosskey)

A Look Inside We Two

Click on thumbnails for larger images

Gillian Gill (in white dress) greeting the Queen Mother at Cambridge University in 1964. Gillian Gill and her sister Rose at home in Cardiff, Wales, dressed up to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Gillian Gill in front of the statue of Queen Victoria statue outside Kensington Palace, London.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Gillian Gill offers a revolutionary portrait of a queen and her prince, revealing at once both an intimate but far-from-idyllic relationship that succeeded against all odds as the strong, feisty queen and the brilliant, fragile prince worked together to build a family based on support, trust, and fidelity.… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.96)
2 2
3 14
3.5 5
4 38
4.5 5
5 15

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,326,358 books! | Top bar: Always visible