Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Farewell in Splendor

I'm going to try to do a brief post on each book that I read in 2010. Hopefully I can be disciplined enough to do it. Here is the first.

I just finished "Farewell in Splendor: The Passing of Queen Victoria and Her Age" by Jerrold M. Packard. It's a book about Queen Victoria's dying, death, and funeral services in 1901. In addition, it's a great primer about the Victorian Age as well as an excellent reminder of the role that Victoria's children and grandchildren played in Europe. Packard does a good job of describing the personality of Edward VII, Victoria's eldest son, who became King when his mother died. It also gives a great portrait of Victoria's eldest grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was Emperor of Germany from 1888 to 1918. Wilhelm II, who was instrumental in the German aggression that led to the carnage of the First World War.

Overall, I found this book to be a fascinating view into the personalities of Victoria and her family, as well as the near-universal grief that her death caused not only in Britain, but worldwide in 1901. Packard's writing is excellent, and he doesn't hold back in his frank and accurate descriptions of the odd personalities involved. No reverence for royalty here, and the book is better for it.

9 out of 10.


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