A Victorian man

Portrait of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes, after Franz Xaver Winterhalter

According to Vincent O’Sullivan, Oscar Wilde said “The three women I have most admired are Queen Victoria, Sarah Bernhardt, and Lillie Langtry. I would have married any one of them with pleasure.”

Queen Victoria seems an unlikely object of admiration for Wilde, until you consider his mother, Lady Wilde. Like the Queen, Lady Wilde was strong-willed, passionate, multilingual, rebellious, and astonishingly loyal to her husband, even when it was not in her best interests.

Queen Victoria, who is forever associated with the allegedly straitlaced era that takes her name, emerges from Gillian Gill’s fascinating biography, We Two—Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals as a little powder keg of passion, joie de vivre and willpower. I have reviewed the book at my new blog, JDEllevsen.com

I am gradually migrating all my posts that are not about Oscar Wilde to JDEllevsen.com, but I remain, as always, a Wildean.

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