Author Topic: Queen Victoria's Journals  (Read 9019 times)

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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Victoria's Journals
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2012, 12:12:19 PM »
Perhaps - sad that we will never know. I'm sure Helena Victoria helped her grandmother write her journal too. The fact that Beatrice delegated the task to Helena Victoria suggests she had faith in her neice to edit accordingly.....

Of course it was a 'horrific act of literary vandalism' but at the end of the day Princess Beatrice was following her mothers wishes which is why King George & Queen Mary felt unable to intervene. Perhaps Queen Victoria might have wished Beatrice to have kept the journal enteries as original as possible and only remove very personal information.

Of course you're right that Helena Victoria often stayed with the Queen and may have assisted with the journal, but Beatrice was the one who had been essentially a secretary for her mother for over 20 years and was intimately aquainted with all her mother's writings on a daily basis.  And while again it was absolutely Beatrice's right to edit the journals as specified by her mother, and I'm sure she believed she was doing the most appropriate thing for the best of reasons, I can't really believe Victoria would have written so much for so long on the assumption her daughter would reduce it by 2/3rds - I am sure you are correct that Queen Victoria would have wished only really personal information removed.  She was really a very good writer - in her correspondence with her daughter Victoria, the mother's letters are more vividly expressed (even when she's being selfish or complaining) than her daughter's, and it's sad Beatrice thought it her duty to take so much out, and create a much blander text.  For example, amongst a great deal that has been lost, Victoria referred very frequently to her servants by name by no means normal for grand ladies of the 19th century and Beatrice swept all these references away (probably the John Brown matter influenced her as well), so its difficult to know now how they interacted with the Queen. 

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Queen Victoria's Journals
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2012, 01:30:14 PM »
That reminds me, I can't recall where I read it, but I think I am right in saying that Princess Beatrice was unaware of Lord Eshers typed transcript. An entry from both was compared  I think it was a social event- and while Lord Eshers transcript contained a list of names of those present - dutifully recorded by the Queen -Princess Beatrice had left them all out, why would she do that, perhaps she thought it was too trivial? Or laziness? I am reminded of the letter Henry Ponsonby wrote complaining that Beatrice was always in a hurry to develop a photograph or paint a flower rather than read written reports to her mothwho's whos eyesight was failing.
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Victoria's Journals
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 03:34:24 AM »
That reminds me, I can't recall where I read it, but I think I am right in saying that Princess Beatrice was unaware of Lord Eshers typed transcript. An entry from both was compared  I think it was a social event- and while Lord Eshers transcript contained a list of names of those present - dutifully recorded by the Queen -Princess Beatrice had left them all out, why would she do that, perhaps she thought it was too trivial? Or laziness? I am reminded of the letter Henry Ponsonby wrote complaining that Beatrice was always in a hurry to develop a photograph or paint a flower rather than read written reports to her mothwho's whos eyesight was failing.

Princess Beatrice was indeed kept in ignorance of Lord Esher's transcripts.  The webpage on the Royal Collections site detailing the versions of the diary also speculates that some of Beatrice's omissions may have been due to her clearly considering some entries too trivial for inclusion - entries for whole days were left out, as well as names of servants, lists of guests, etc.  Since Beatrice took 40 years to complete her work, probably speed wasn't her main driver.  I fear, from your comment about the handwriting, that she took a lot of time and trouble to get things right, in her view.  None of Queen Victoria's children seemed to like her book on 'Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands' (the Prince of Wales thought it 'twaddle') and possibly Beatrice wished to alter this potential view of the Queen as preoccupied with domesticity and servants, as well as sanitising family rows, scandals and some of the Queen's very forthright views.