Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter

Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter

A Biography of Princess Louise

Book - 2015
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The secrets of Queen Victoria's sixth child, Princess Louise, may be destined to remain hidden forever. What was so dangerous about this artistic, tempestuous royal that her life has been documented more by rumor and gossip than hard facts? When Lucinda Hawksley started to investigate, often thwarted by inexplicable secrecy, she discovered a fascinating woman, modern before her time, whose story has been shielded for years from public view.

Louise was a sculptor and painter, friend to the Pre-Raphaelites and a keen member of the Aesthetic movement. The most feisty of the Victorian princesses, she kicked against her mother's controlling nature and remained fiercely loyal to her brothers-especially the sickly Leopold and the much-maligned Bertie. She sought out other unconventional women, including Josephine Butler and George Eliot, and campaigned for education and health reform and for the rights of women. She battled with her indomitable mother for permission to practice the "masculine" art of sculpture and go to art college-and in doing so became the first British princess to attend a public school.

The rumors of Louise's colorful love life persist even today, with hints of love affairs dating as far back as her teenage years, and notable scandals included entanglements with her sculpting tutor Joseph Edgar Boehm and possibly even her sister Princess Beatrice's handsome husband, Liko. True to rebellious form, she refused all royal suitors and became the first member of the royal family, since the sixteenth century, to marry a commoner. She moved with him to Canada when he was appointed Governor-General.

Spirited and lively, Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter is richly packed with arguments, intrigues, scandals, and secrets, and is a vivid portrait of a princess desperate to escape her inheritance.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press,, 2015.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781250059321
1250059321
Characteristics: x, 374 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Hawksley, Lucinda

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ChristchurchLib Feb 16, 2016

Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's sixth child, was an artist and passionate advocate for women's rights. She was highly regarded by the British public, but was far from being a conventional princess. Though much is known about Louise, many details of her life are off-limits, locked away in the Royal Archives and those of the National Gallery. Art historian Lucinda Hawksley draws on generally available information about Victoria and her family to develop this intriguing biography, which includes an exploration of the rumor that Louise gave birth to an illegitimate child.

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