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Publisher's Summary

It was the most influential marriage of the 19th century and one of history's most enduring love stories. Traditional biographies tell us that Queen Victoria inherited the throne as a naive 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 17, 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, with 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.

©2009 Gillian Gill (P)2009 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    115
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    84
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    24
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

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    92
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    54
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    14
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    6
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    57
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    18
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • Shakopee, MN, USA
  • 08-07-09

I found it extremely moving.

I really enjoyed this one. Rosalynn Landor is one of my favorite narrators and this title was really worthy of her.

Gillian Gill manages to create a picture of Victoria and Albert that I had never seen. She provides us the portrait of a marriage between two people, not between an icon of queenly dignity and her idolized mate. I actually cried a little when Albert died. That's pretty rare for me with historical non-fiction.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joy
  • Hamilton, Bermuda
  • 10-15-11

Honest account of mythical marriage

This book gives an accurate view of the ups and downs in the Queen's marriage and an alarming view of the ambition and power the Prince wrested from the Queen. It is possibly a blessing that his life was cut short as he was determined to change England to suit his German ambitions. I was disappointed in Victoria's lack of interest in her position and what a contrast to our present Queen who has been a true monarch with unfailing loyalty and dedication.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • Marina, CA, United States
  • 01-01-10

Intriguing

This was an intriguing bio of one of the most powerful and influential British queens. I particularly liked how the author treated Albert/Victoria and their relationship. This was a wonderful and entertaining book. I recommend to all.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pita
  • Miami
  • 08-05-14

Royal love story

Would you listen to We Two again? Why?

This is a very detailed account of the relationship between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The book proves, once again, that life can be just as fascinating as fiction. The book is very well researched and it brings the historical figures to life without idealizing them (or vilifying them). Because of the amount of detail and the fact that this work reads like as a novel and it is very entertaining it can stand a second reading. I really enjoyed it.

What about Rosalyn Landor’s performance did you like?

I love Rosalyn Landor. She was perfect for this.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Subjects

Gillian Gill's very well written chronicle of the personal, domestic lives of Albert and Victoria, of English society in the mid-19th century, and of European states at the time, had me completely engrossed. The material was delightfully presented and the narrator's voice a perfect match for the text. I learned so much about the period while being so thoroughly entertained.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW! I learned so much.

What did you love best about We Two?

Ok, I will freely admit that I am a history nerd, and I know a lot about Victoria and Albert. However, this book was enlightening and intimate. Gill did an amazing job of digging up personal facts and tidbits that even a seasoned history buff (read: nerd) will appreciate and hear told for the first time here. I loved it. Furthermore, Rosalyn Landor's voice is gorgeous.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A bit dry.

The writing was presented in a rather dry, history book kind of way and it didn't make me feel like these people were flesh and blood. However, setting the writing aside, I did learn a lot about the period and the people.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Choppy and disjointed....

What was most disappointing about Gillian Gill’s story?

it seemed like facts were written in chunks, thrown up a staircase and included as they fell down.

What does Rosalyn Landor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She's a good reader, but there was a certain lack of enthusiasm because the source material wasn't very passionate or very interestingly written

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I didn't know much about European history... and this certianly filled in big gaps

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

there must be a better bio of these two

It seems like many biographers err on the side of overpraise for their subjects. My impression of this book is that the author conceived of a barely suppressed disdain for both Victoria and Albert. The last chapter in particular (which was out of pace with the rest of the book) was jarringly critical of Victoria, basically calling her a histrionic drama queen. I read biographies to learn not just the facts of a historical figure's life but to get an insight into their psychology and a deeper understanding of them as a person. Although I finished it, it was difficult to engage with this book and I think that's because the writer came across as estranged from her subjects.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DJW
  • North Carolina, USA
  • 02-25-18

Big and Brilliant

Don't be put off by the size of this tome. You'll miss something really special if do. Instead, devour it like an elephant - one bite at a time.

Equal parts biography and history lesson, We Two is a captivating read. The relationship between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert simultaneously defines dichotomy and symbiosis.