Author(s): Deborah Cadbury
A captivating exploration of the role in which Queen Victoria exerted most international power and influence: her role as matchmaking grandmother. In the late nineteenth century, Queen Victoria had over thirty surviving grandchildren. To maintain power in Europe, she hoped to manoeuvre them into dynastic marriages with royalty across the world. Yet her grandchildren often had plans of their own, fuelled by strong wills and romantic hearts. Her matchmaking plans were further complicated by tumultuous international upheavals; revolution was in the air and after her death, her most carefully laid plans fell to ruin. Queen Victoria's Matchmaking travels through the glittering palaces of Russia and Europe, weaving in scandals, political machinations and family tensions, to enthralling effect. It is at once an intimate portrait of the royal family and an examination of the conflict caused by the power, love and duty that shaped the marriages that Queen Victoria arranged. At the heart of it all is Queen Victoria herself: doting grandmother one moment, determined manipulator the next.