The life of Queen Victoria’s most rebellious daughter


Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise - Lucinda Hawksley

Of all of Queen Victoria’s nine children, Princess Louise was perhaps the most un-Victorian, making her a very interesting royal to read about. Louise painted and sculpted, hung around with pre-Raphaelites, and was a member of the Aesthetic movement. She also embraced exercise, admired unconventional women like novelist George Eliot, supported women’s rights when even her libertine brother Bertie believed females should be compliant and submissive, refused to marry a foreign prince, almost certainly had love affairs, and  may have had a child out of wedlock–which is perhaps why more than 75 years after her death the files on Princess Louise at the Royal Archives remain closed and unavailable for researchers, as if there is something about her that is so shocking it still must be hidden. Even with that source restriction, Lucinda Hawksley has put together a fascinating and intriguing account of Princess Louise, and  through her a picture of Britain and its extended royal family from the Victorian age, when her mother was queen, to the dawn of WWI, when her nephew Kaiser Wilhelm was causing trouble in Germany.

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