A Magnificent Obsession by Helen Rappaport

86%

10 Critic Reviews

Rappaport offers an absorbing, perceptive, and detailed picture of a constitutional monarchy in crisis.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

As she did in her critically acclaimed The Last Days of the Romanovs, Helen Rappaport brings a compelling documentary feel to the story of this royal marriage and of the queen's obsessive love for her husband – a story that began as fairy tale and ended in tragedy.

After the untimely death of Prince Albert, the queen and her nation were plunged into a state of grief so profound that this one event would dramatically alter the shape of the British monarchy. For Britain had not just lost a prince: during his twenty year marriage to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert had increasingly performed the function of King in all but name. The outpouring of grief after Albert's death was so extreme, that its like would not be seen again until the death of Princess Diana 136 years later.

Drawing on many letters, diaries and memoirs from the Royal Archives and other neglected sources, as well as the newspapers of the day, Rappaport offers a new perspective on this compelling historical psychodrama--the crucial final months of the prince's life and the first long, dark ten years of the Queen's retreat from public view. She draws a portrait of a queen obsessed with her living husband and – after his death – with his enduring place in history. Magnificent Obsession will also throw new light on the true nature of the prince's chronic physical condition, overturning for good the 150-year old myth that he died of typhoid fever.

 

About Helen Rappaport

See more books from this Author
HELEN RAPPAPORT studied Russian at Leeds University and is a specialist in Russian and nineteenth-century women’s history. She lives in Oxford.
 
Published March 13, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for A Magnificent Obsession
All: 10 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jan 01 2012

Absorbing account of the making of a queen through her awful, protracted grief... as British historian and Russian expert Rappaport... depicts in this readable narrative.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Jad Adams on Jan 20 2012

This well-written book describes how... the Queen maintained the pretence that her family tragedy was also a great loss to the nation.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Jan 09 2012

Rappaport offers an absorbing, perceptive, and detailed picture of a constitutional monarchy in crisis.

Read Full Review of A Magnificent Obsession | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Christian Science Monitor

Below average
Reviewed by Richard Watt on Apr 19 2012

...probably not sufficient return for a reader who already knows the Victoria-Albert story.

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Library Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Lisa Guidarini on Apr 04 2012

This riveting biography, which draws on documents previously overlooked, is a work of scholarship that would enhance any collection.

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Mail Online

Good
Reviewed by A N Wilson on Feb 02 2012

Helen Rappaport has the necessary fondness for the older Queen, while seeing that it would have been a very different reign had Albert lived a full and natural span.

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Salt Lake Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Ann Levin on Mar 16 2012

Helen Rappaport... has written a splendid new book

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Driffield Times & Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Pam Norfolk on Apr 19 2012

...what makes her book so outstanding, and possibly one of the best history books of 2011, is its sheer readability and her attention to every intriguing detail

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Mary Drew

Good
Reviewed by Mary Drew on Mar 19 2012

The brilliant Helen Rappaport has done it again, written a book about a subject we thought we knew all about and made it fresh and new and in this case mesmerizing.

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Jacqueline Banerjee

Good
Reviewed by Jacqueline Banerjee on Mar 29 2012

Rappaport's book is full of fascinating detail, and makes an engrossing read.

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Reader Rating for A Magnificent Obsession
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 49 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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