Book Review: We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

So, I started this book in November, and as someone who doesn’t regularly read or enjoy non-fiction, I found myself very much pulled into the lives of Victoria and Albert, told in a relatable way by the author, Gillian Gill.  Why did I pick up this book?  Even though I (most unfortunately) kill off poor V&A in the first pages of my current manuscript (The Queen of England: Coronation), I wanted to understand their lives, their England and their Europe.  While reading ‘We Two,’ I highlighted numerous passages and when I start the edit of the first draft in Feb 2016, I will need to make some major decisions about including real life members of British politics.  I learned much about royal protocol – much of which will be necessary to include if I want accurate details.

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, RivalsDo I recommend this book?  Honestly, yes.  I think it’s good every now and then to pick up and read a well researched and well written non-fiction book.  Sure, your non-fiction interest might not be about Victorian England, but I’m sure there’s something out there to tickle your fancy.  (Alternatively, if you are a major reader of non-fiction, why not pick up some fiction — there are some amazing books and authors out there).

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.gif from the Young Victoria, which also was great research.

Ms. Gill does a wonderful job of integrating historical record (and humor) into the book.  I admired how she followed different parts of V&A’s lives and while not wholly dedicated to a singular set of chronological events, she presented an excellent timeline, one that was easy to follow.  Also, you get moments like these:

We can imagine Albert weeping, saying he was sure he was going to die; Ernest, taken aback, sputtering the kind of banalities we still use for severely depressed people. Don’t be absurd. You are only forty years old. You have everything to live for. For pity’s sake, get a grip on yourself, brother.”

To round out my historical reading, I’ve got The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince in the queue.  While it will take place well after the events of my trilogy, I appreciate the glimpses into real world England.

Do you have any non-fiction to recommend?

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