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Publisher's Summary

On 6 July 1868, when told of the birth of her seventh granddaughter, Queen Victoria remarked that the news was "a very uninteresting thing for it seems to me to go on like the rabbits in Windsor Park". Her apathy was understandable - this was her 14th grandchild, and, though she had given birth to nine children, she had never been fond of babies, viewing them as "frog-like and rather disgusting...particularly when undressed".

The early years of her marriage had, she claimed, been ruined by frequent pregnancies, and large families were unnecessary for wealthy people since the children would grow up with nothing worthwhile to do. Nevertheless, her initial reaction to the birth of Princess Victoria of Wales belied the genuine concern that Queen Victoria felt for each of her 22 granddaughters. "As a rule," she wrote, "I like girls best," and she devoted a great deal of time to their well-being and happiness, showering them with affection she had seldom shown her own children.

By 1914, through a series of dynastic marriages, the queen's granddaughters included the empress of Russia; the queens of Spain, Greece, and Norway' and the crown princesses of Rumania and Sweden. As their brothers and cousins occupied the thrones of Germany, Britain, and Denmark, Prince Albert's dream of a peaceful Europe created through bonds of kinship seemed a real possibility. Yet in little more than a decade after Queen Victoria's death, the prince consort's dream would lie shattered in the carnage of the First World War. Royal cousins and even siblings would find themselves on opposing sides; two of them would die horrifically at the hands of revolutionaries, and several others would be ousted from their thrones. They had lived through the halcyon days of the European monarchies, but their lives, like the lives of millions of their people, would be changed forever by the catastrophe.

©2013 Christina Croft (P)2017 Christina Croft

What members say

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Loved every minute!

Well written and researched with helpful summaries before each chapter. Liked it so much that I bought the hard copy as well for reference!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • francesca
  • 04-26-17

A whole lot of Princesses

If you are a royal history lover this is a book for you. You'll learn more about minor European royalty and family ties. The granddaughter who became a saint, 2 who supposedly married gay men, and the dedication to hospital works and causes. But be warned the name listing of family members at the start of each chapter is about irritating at first, but you soon find you need the lists to keep up with whose who.
An interesting and engaging listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • EM
  • 07-19-17

Really intriguing

I found this book to be a captivating look in to this time period and in to the varied lives of these women.

The pivotal role in which Queen Victoria and her family played across the European royal houses and political climates of the time lead to many fascinating and dramatic stories, some times comic but often very traumatic, as seen through the eyes of her Granddaughters.

Great writing by the author and excellent read by the Narrator kept me gripped throughout, I loved it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 07-19-17

Lovely listen

Really interesting account of the trials and tribulations of Queen Victoria's Granddaughters. Fascinating insights and stories too.

Lovely read by the narrator too, really helped to make the subject come alive. Spot on with the variety of strange pronunciations and names.

Would highly recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Julia
  • 11-11-17

A moving story

Too complex a list of characters and this leads to a superficial analysis of their lives. Stylistically quite good.
However, the narration spoiled it for me. Several words were mispronounced - dowager, Ypres, for example - and the voice was monotonous and rather plaintive.

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  • Alison
  • 07-18-17

Victoria's Granddaughters

What did you like best about Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918? What did you like least?

Interesting story - how can it not be? Let down by the dreadful narration.

Would you be willing to try another one of Fleur Edwards’s performances?

No. She seemed to manage the tough Prussian and German names really well and then spent a period of times pronouncing 'Cannes' as 'Cans'. It just threw me completely. And she also seemed to need to take breathy pauses in the wrong places. Not impressed at all. Great shame.

Any additional comments?

This will never fail to be interesting as a history - the way that Victoria knitted Europe together with her breeding programme, but I really feel it was let down by the narrator, and very badly so. Such a shame.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 08-02-17

Nothing new for the historian

This is one of this rare books that hits the cusp of both suitability as an audio book due to detail (To detailed for the novice - not enough grit or insight for the scholar). This would be an ok book for mindless background fodder except the narrator is clearly set to a metronomic pace that translates as a very slow drone to the listener. Placing the book on 1.25x speed will help the audiobook sound normal