Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 4 of 4)

Part 4: Christmas yet to come With Albert’s death just before Christmas 1861, everything changed; Victoria made no entries in her journal until New Year’s Day, though she wrote to King Leopold on 20 December, But oh! To be cut off in the prime of life – to see our pure, happy, quiet domestic life, which alone enabled me to bear my much disliked position, cut off at forty-two – when I had hoped with such instinctive certainty that God

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Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 3 of 4)

Part 3: Taking position – ‘the locale’ The residences which are most closely associated with Victoria and Albert’s domestic idyll, and that of their burgeoning family, were not palaces or state apartments but retreats. The cost of reimagining the far more modest abodes that had until the late 1840s and early 1850s occupied two sites at almost opposite ends of the kingdom would have been prohibitive to all but the wealthiest. Yet Osborne House and Balmoral Castle, the former almost

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Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 2 of 4)

Part 2: Taking position – ‘the look’ The Christmas tree engraving was not untypical of depictions of the royal family in the mid-nineteenth century, a period which had in recent decades witnessed a vast expansion in the publication and distribution of popular newspapers and periodicals as a result of technical innovations in printing, distribution and communications. [1] In an analysis of Victoria’s representation in the illustrated press, Virginia McKendry argues that images of the Queen in the Illustrated London News

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Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 1 of 4)

In behaving publicly much like members of the mid-nineteenth-century middle class, Victoria and Albert achieved great influence – both by making their subjects aspire to be like them, and by displaying their contemporaneity with those they ruled. This examination of aspects of the royal family’s domestic life, and of the image they presented to the nation, makes reference to selected diary entries and correspondence of Queen Victoria, and to imagery illustrating how Victoria and Albert might appear to their contemporaries almost as being ‘just like us’.

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Shannon Draucker, ‘The Queen Goes to the Opera’

Shannon Draucker is a PhD Candidate in English at Boston University.  Her dissertation project, Sounding Bodies: Music and Physiology in Victorian Narrative, explores literary responses to emerging scientific understandings of the physics and physiology of sound during the Victorian period.  Her project shows how new discoveries of the embodied nature of music and sound inform scenes in which authors grant their characters desires, pleasures, identities, and relationships otherwise unavailable to them.  At Boston University, she teaches English and Writing courses

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Sophie Cooper, ‘Outlander’ and the Victorian resurgence of Highland romanticism

Sophie Cooper is a second year PhD student and William McFarlane Scholar at the University of Edinburgh. She is studying Irish communities in Melbourne and Chicago between 1850 and 1890, specifically in relation to situational influences on identity formation and nationalist thought. Sophie tweets using the handle @SophcoCooper and more information can be found on her academia page. The growing popularity of Amazon Prime’s recent Starz acquisition ‘Outlander’, an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s 1991 book, will undoubtedly lead to a surge

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Ann Gagné, “Race, Place, and Perspective in the Victorian Period”: VSAO Conference

Ann Gagné is College Instructor at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. Her current research explores how touch and ethics relate to education as well as the spatial framing of learning in the nineteenth century which is an extension of themes found in her doctoral dissertation. She is very active on Twitter @AnnGagne and also writes a blog that relates to teaching and pedagogical strategies at www.allthingspedagogical.blogspot.ca The end of the term at Ontario colleges and universities usually means instructors spending quality time with essays

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Review: Channel 4’s Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser

Rebecca Fairbank (University of Oxford) UK readers can still watch this programme here. The story of the human struggle of royal figures has captured the imagination recently, as films such as The King’s Speech (2010), and the less successful Diana (2013) attest. Channel 4’s Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser reiterates this trend on the small screen. This engaging documentary probes the hidden disability of Queen Victoria’s grandson, Wilhelm II, born to her eldest daughter Vicky with a paralysis of

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Michael Roberts, “Like Judas Writing the Acts of the Apostles’*: Greville’s Diary and Its First Readers’

By Michael Roberts Personal diaries are generally welcomed as a godsend by historians but their publication can raise complicated questions for editors and publishers. Most Victorianists, given a few seconds’ reflection, will be able to find illustrations to fit: the publisher John Murray, for example, burning Byron’s Journals before witnesses rather than risk scandal; Gladstone’s sons entrusting the great man’s diaries to the Archbishop of Canterbury until enough time might pass to dissipate scandal. One famous nineteenth-century diary to go

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Jubilee Tribulations in Two Victorian Ports: Swansea and Liverpool

by Mike Benbough-Jackson (Liverpool John Moores University) In the celebration-packed year of 2012, I mustn’t say this too loudly: celebrations and jubliees are not all about jollity and communitas; they also evoke despondency and division, or, even worse, apathy. The celebrations that marked Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 were widely held as having been a triumph. Of course no one denied that there was opposition, mainly from Republicans and Irish Nationalists. Yet the very fact that dissent came from

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