Last Days of Glory

Last Days of Glory : The Death of Queen Victoria

3.9 (64 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New ed of Large print ed
  • 0753196654
  • 9780753196656

Review Text

Rennell breaks new ground by devoting a whole book to the death, as opposed to the life, of Queen Victoria. '1st January,' she writes in her journal in 1901, 'another year begun and I'm feeling so weak and unwell that I enter upon it sadly.' Victoria was the embodiment of stability and continuity for her people. Those close to her and those in power were fully aware that when she drew her last breath, it would be no ordinary death. Rennell builds the tension of her final days brilliantly, describing the confusion in the royal household at Osborne and the dithering of ministers as efforts are made to conceal the serious nature of the Oueen's illness from the public.When she died, no one could quite believe it and no one knew what to do. The Queen's 'secret' instructions commanded that she should be buried wearing two wedding rings - the one given to her by Albert and the other by her faithful highland servant John Brown. Rennell comes to some interesting conclusions on the 'Mrs Brown' scandal. Parallels are drawn between the recent mourning for Diana Princess of Wales and the mourning for Queen Victoria. Coincidences include: 'the cult of flowers' - London alone spent 3.5 million on flowers for Queen Victoria, 'the Queen of Hearts' title - Victoria was referred to as 'the Empress of Hearts' and the attribution of a kind of 'sainthood' to both women. But comparisons end there. Queen Victoria's death was a watershed that ushered in an era of radical changes. It was the beginning of the death throes for the whole empire. (Kirkus UK)
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64 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 27% (17)
4 42% (27)
3 27% (17)
2 5% (3)
1 0% (0)
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