Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon

Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon Yvonne M. Ward
  • Title: Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon
  • Author: Yvonne M. Ward
  • ISBN: 9781780743639
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon Yvonne M. Ward Censoring Queen Victoria How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon When Queen Victoria died two gentlemen were commissioned with the monumental task of editing her vast correspondence It would be the first time that a British monarch s letters had been published an
    When Queen Victoria died, two gentlemen were commissioned with the monumental task of editing her vast correspondence It would be the first time that a British monarch s letters had been published, and it would change how Victoria was remembered forever.The men chosen for the job were deeply complex and peculiar characters Viscount Esher, the consummate royal confidant,When Queen Victoria died, two gentlemen were commissioned with the monumental task of editing her vast correspondence It would be the first time that a British monarch s letters had been published, and it would change how Victoria was remembered forever.The men chosen for the job were deeply complex and peculiar characters Viscount Esher, the consummate royal confidant, blessed with charm and influence, but hiding a secret obsession with Eton boys and incestuous relationship with his son Arthur Benson, a schoolmaster and author, plagued by depression, struggling to fit in with the blue blooded clubs and codes of the court Together with King Edward VII these men would decide Victoria s legacy In their hands 460 volumes of the Queen s Correspondence became just three, and their decisions and distortions would influence perceptions of Victoria for generations to come.
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      Yvonne M. Ward

    About Yvonne M. Ward


    1. Yvonne Ward is a historian with a doctorate from La Trobe University Her publications include the lead essay in a special edition of The Court Historian, published to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II This is her first book She lives in Victoria, Australia.


    812 Comments


    1. The book jacket immediately attracted me to Censoring Queen Victoria It s an exquisite portrait of the young queen commissioned for Albert just four years into their marriage It s a romantic portrait of a sweet, blue eyed girl focusing on someone or something outside the picture In her early twenties, Victoria is pictured with light brown locks flowing over bare shoulders This depiction is decidedly different from photos I ve seen of the short, rather squat sovereign in a high necked dress with [...]

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    2. A very insightful book.

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    3. I received a copy of this book through a First Reads Giveaway This well written and engrossing account of the editing of Queen Victoria s 1837 1861 letters is an illuminating example of how history can be influenced, even misrepresented, because of the experiences and circumstances of editors, biographers, and historians When Viscount Esher and Arthur Benson started the monumental task of editing down Victoria s voluminous correspondence into 3 manageable volumes, they didn t have a clear strate [...]

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    4. I won this book through the First Reads Giveaway program.I ve read biographies on Queen Victoria, as well as historical fiction based on her life, and I can see now where the source material for these later works have come from It is from that understanding, of what was censored, that I understand why we have the persona that we have of Queen Victoria The book, with it s focus being the publication of her letters up to Prince Albert s death, explains why the editors cut the things they did and m [...]

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    5. The two men responsible for creating Queen Victoria s legacy and shaping history s view of her were the absolute worst men for the job Any man at the time would have bungled it, but they were especially ill suited Both were gay, neither considered any woman worth their time even a royal one , neither was capable of understanding or maintaining a romantic relationship with anyone, and both were obsessed with one of the men Victoria worked with When dealing with the first few decades of her life, [...]

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    6. I received Censoring Queen Victoria as part of a giveaway.Censoring Queen Victoria explores the queen s published correspondence, as well as the two men responsible for editing them, Baron Esher and Arthur Benson Esher and Benson carefully chose what to include in order to satisfy Victoria s son and grandson, who followed her, and to perpetuate the image of the Queen as the paragon of virtue in the era named for her.It was an interesting read, but I felt like it didn t go deep enough It s a shor [...]

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    7. Really interesting nonfiction I usually don t even read nonfiction I love reading about royals for some reason The only thing is the pedophilia described in the beginning, and that at first the book was way about the editors than the queen, which wasn t what I expected But it got very interesting at the end I d have had it done earlier, but certain people would interrupt me every time I cracked it open ahem, Dave, cough cough.

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    8. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of primary sources that were edited out While the discussion and conclusions the author makes we re interesting and valid, I did hope to see some of the material that had been edited.

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    9. Oh my goodness, wait shocking revelation historians have biases that impact their selection and presentation of primary sources.Um, yep Kinda knew that I also knew that the Edwardians were utterly insufferable.Things I didn t know that I learned from this book The Edwardian upper classes were rife with homosexuality of a pederastic nature which disdained and minimised the social role of women And members of this weird boys club were the ones who selected the first published letters and papers of [...]

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    10. Ward s Censoring Queen Victoria is a cautionary tale which reminds us that history is written by the victor Or, in this case, by two fascinating and enterprising men who happened to outlive the Queen and gain access to her writings Though their edited collection of Victoria s letters is in no way meant to be malicious in its portrayal of the late queen, Ward makes it clear that their perspective on what was and was not worthy of inclusion was heavily tinted by the prevailing misogyny of the day [...]

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    11. From the viewpoint of a historian who doesn t know much about Victoria somewhat of a good read The first half, which concerned Esher and Benson, was far interesting than the second half I was enjoying the book and eager to learn , but by the time I got to the actual editing content, I found myself losing interest quickly, and only finished it because it wasn t long Come on, there are only 79 pages left, you can do that in less than an hour, just finish the thing I think it might have been parti [...]

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    12. Gentleman I don t think so Both were Etonian Homosexuals into pedophilia and one was into incestuous pedophilia with his youngest son Which according to the author was no great sin among the Etonians of the time.But what I d like to know is What the hell does their sex lives perversions have to do with the work they did editing Queen Victoria s letters According to the book, the editors Lord Escher Benson both were prigs when it came to women, women s feelings, femininity which was the norm in t [...]

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    13. This well written and engrossing account of the editing of Queen Victoria s 1837 1861 letters is an illuminating example of how history can be influenced, even misrepresented, because of the experiences and circumstances of editors, biographers, and historians When Viscount Esher and Arthur Benson started the monumental task of editing down Victoria s voluminous correspondence into 3 manageable volumes, they didn t have a clear strategy to assist them in choosing what to retain and what to elimi [...]

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    14. Review title The queen makersThe A N Wilson biography of Queen Victoria that I just reviewed referenced this slim volume that serves as a good companion piece Ward s published doctoral thesis gives us the background of how the queen s papers and letters were organized, edited, and published and how the many decisions along the way shaped the Queen we know today First was the choice of editors The two gentleman off the subtitle were a courtier to the King Victoria s son Albert and a biographer, b [...]

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    15. SynopsisAfter the death of Queen Victoria, her son Edward VII commissioned two men to edit and produce a selection of her letters These volumes went on to influence many biographies of Victoria, and wider public opinion in the twentieth century But were they an accurate portrayal of the Queen This book looks at the editors, their histories, their motivations, their letters and their diaries and compares it with the original source material Queen Victoria s letters to understand exactly how much [...]

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    16. In Censoring Queen Victoria How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon, historian Yvonne M Ward looks at the role of two men who were tasked with editing and publishing Victoria s correspondence after her death The final product coupled with Victoria s daughter Princess Beatrice acting as her literary executor and editing her mother s memoirs and burning the originals influenced generations to come Queen Victoria, as she has come down to us, is the product of her biographers For over s [...]

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    17. I got this book thinking it would reveal the REAL Queen Victoria Instead, it told the story of how 2 editors and a group of men censored the letters and journals of the queen to better suit the sensibilities of this group of publicly sedate men The personal histories of the 2 editors were pretty weird They tried very hard NOT to reveal the queen as a woman and human being, but turned her into an icon she herself probably wouldn t recognize.Given all that, it was still a fascinating book on how t [...]

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    18. A perfectly enjoyable account of how Victoria s voluminous correspondence began its journey into the consciousness of the larger public However, what becomes very clear is that the lives of the editors Benson and Esher and the late Victorian Edward world they lived in, turns out to be far interesting that the process of assembling and publishing the letters Esher in particular sounds like he lived a very unique, eccentric, paradoxical life, and a full length biography of this fascinating man, i [...]

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    19. It was interesting to know that two gay men were tasked to go through Queen Victoria s correspondence her journals were destroyed upon her death and from that narrow it down to a brief period in her life From that they narrowed it down even further to fit what they and the King decided upon They made no mention of her even being pregnant Everything was cast in a positive light so as not to offend anyone or skew their opinion of the Queen It was interesting to also note the politics that went on [...]

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    20. There should be a Library of Congress call number category for The Making of Reference Materials, and we could put this in it, and Simon Winchester s stuff about the OED, etc As a book about the mechanics of producing Queen Victoria s letters, this was fascinating Ward doesn t spend much time demonstrating the effect of Esher and Benson s editing on successive generations of scholarship which would have been great to know about Nevertheless, a really interesting read if you are curious about ho [...]

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    21. I found this book to be an accessible and relatively easy read It was illuminating in terms of both the life of Queen Victoria and the sensibilities and biases of the times It was less sensational than I anticipated, but perhaps satisfying because of that I found the ending to be a little abrupt I would have appreciated examples of correspondence that was excluded, as well as slightly historical background As it is, though, it s a solid and easy read that shines a light on how history is writ [...]

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    22. This book is about the editing of Queen Victoria s seemingly endless letters They were distilled down to three volumes, but what is interesting is the editors, and why they chose what they chose The two men were beholden to the King, the weight of history, prudery despite the fact she had 9 children, no mention of pregnancy made it through , sexism much weight was given to her interactions with men , politics editing so as not to offend other nations rulers , and covering up any unwanted incide [...]

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    23. Very interesting examination of the way in which two Edwardian men, in their editing of Queen Victoria s voluminous correspondence, gave the world a very narrow picture of a remarkable woman a picture which still dominates historical accounts of the queen My only complaint is that the book is too short I would love to see of the letters that her first editors omitted, particularly between the queen and other women.

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    24. Originally drawn to the book by the title and the cover while browsing shelves at the local library I enjoyed reading it very much and will probably spiral into reading some of the reference material used by Ward The book was a fascinating read about what the editors of Victoria s letters papers deemed suitable based on their own personal experiences and beliefs etc Enjoyed this and will definitely be looking up by Yvonne M Ward.

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    25. An interesting book, but I thought it was lacking in some areas The beginning parts on the lives of the two men chosen to be the Queen s literary editors was new to me, and the influence of their own lives and attitudes on their editorial choices is interesting I did think that the book ended rather abruptly it seemed rather incomplete in some ways.

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    26. The Victorian Edwardian age is really interesting but I am sooooo happy I didn t have to live in it Victoria had power since she was Queen, but the guys took right over after she died All hail women s liberation

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    27. Fascinating Once again, we see that those who write the history, get to select what truth to tell A great lesson about the constricted role of gender norms in so called objective non fiction A worthwhile and entertaining trip.

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    28. Utterly fascinating I wish it had been longer I couldn t put this book down, and now I want Dr Ward to publish a new collection of Queen Victoria s letters reflecting her female experience of life, rather than the skewed one put forth by Edward VII s editing team.

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    29. Queen Victoria s editors made her seem much Victorian than she was when they published letters and extracts from her diary View into how history may not be what we think.

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    30. I thought this was a very interesting book to read I wasn t sure about some of the letters in the book Maybe I need to read about the people mentioned in the book To understand them better.

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