Author Topic: Books on the Hesse Royals  (Read 104129 times)

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Offline Laura Mabee

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Books on the Hesse Royals
« on: September 28, 2005, 08:36:28 PM »
There is a book on eBay right now entitled "letters of Alice" there is two copies, published in 1884. This would have been way before Alix was even married.

What did the family feel about their personal items getting publicly published?

Alicky1872

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2005, 07:32:12 AM »
Quote
There is a book on eBay right now entitled "letters of Alice" there is two copies, published in 1884. This would have been way before Alix was even married.

What did the family feel about their personal items getting publicly published?


I believe the letters included in this book were gathered together by the family, as Helena herself wrote the introduction to it. It was done with her family's blessing, and was seen as a sort of tribute to Alice--not anything scandalous at all.

bluetoria

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 08:18:07 AM »
Yes, it is a wonderful book - compiled by Lenchen. It speaks very respectfully of Alice and each year has a forward (written by Lenchen) to explain what the letters are about.
The book concludes with some of the testimonies written about Alice after her death. If it is going at a reasonable prince on ebay I wholeheartedly recommend it!!!  :D

Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 10:33:28 AM »
I have to second bluetoria's comments.....although I have read the book already, I could reread it again and again!

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2005, 04:16:47 PM »
Thank you everyone  :)

I still have a question though. Does anyone want to take a stab at the feelings of the family when letters got published for public use?

Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2005, 05:42:08 PM »
This is definitely a stab, but from the forward of the book, if I remember correctly, the family wanted to "paint" a picture of the kind of person Alice was, so her good works and nature would be more widely-known.  I can't imaging that Queen Victoria would have allowed the publication if she hadn't have concurred.  Alice was definitely a favorite with some of her siblings, and I can't think of anything negative that any of them had to say to her (but of course I read widely and may just have simply forgotten if they had).  

Alicky1872

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2005, 06:06:20 PM »
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Alice was definitely a favorite with some of her siblings, and I can't think of anything negative that any of them had to say to her (but of course I read widely and may just have simply forgotten if they had).  


As is the case with all siblings at one time or another, sometimes the relationship between Vicky and Alice was strained. I quoted a letter that Vicky wrote about this, on the 'Empress Frederik' thread, in the Hohenzollern section. Vicky felt that at times QV favored Alice over herself, but I think Vicky was just writing the letter to 'vent' to Fritz, and I don't think she would have ever brought up her feelings of being inferior to Alice. In later years, the sisters became closer, going on holidays together, etc.

I believe Alice was the closest to Bertie. Til the end of his life, he kept a large photograph of her (the first picture you see in the 1884 book of her letters) in his dressing room at Buckingham Palace. Also, hanging above the fireplace, in his study at Marlborough House, he kept a painting of Alice with her two eldest daughters.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alicky1872 »

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2005, 09:15:12 PM »
Awesome, I wasn't aware that this was a "family" release. Thank you so much for the dicussion!

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2005, 02:29:19 AM »
hey i seem to remember that in "A Princess Reclaimed" a nice easy to read biography on Princess Helena, it mentioned her envolvment in this book and some of the problems she had with the original author.
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Alicky1872

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2005, 03:46:52 AM »
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hey i seem to remember that in "A Princess Reclaimed" a nice easy to read biography on Princess Helena, it mentioned her envolvment in this book and some of the problems she had with the original author.


Yes, the book was originally published in German, by an Arnold Bergstrasser, in 1883. It seems he obtained the letters through Queen Victoria, but somewhat bafflingly, she did not give him permission to publish them. (Maybe she had hopes of an English version coming out first?  ???) Apparently Bergstrasser felt he didn't need the Queen's permission anyway, as he went ahead with publication. (QV's reaction to this is not on record.) The edition contained a biographial sketch of Alice, by  a Darmstadt clergyman, Dr. Carl Sell. Soon after the German edition proved to be a success, Princess Helena contacted Dr. Sell and asked permission to translate his text into English, which he readily gave (without contacting his publisher first!  :-/). Predictably, Bergstrasser (the publisher) denied Helena permission and claimed he owned copyright of the letters now. Helena insisted that since the actual letters themselves  belonged to the queen, she owned copyright, and that the only Sell's text (the biographical sketch in the beginning) was open for discussion. Bergstrasser finally agreed on a cash settlement, which amounted to  £100 for the first 3,000 copies and a further £40 for every 1,000 copies sold. The first English translation included Dr. Sell's original introduction. As the book sold so well in England, a second edition had to be printed in 1885, but this time minus Sell's work, and with a memoir of Alice written by Helena herself.

From 'Helena: A Princess Reclaimed' by S. Chomet:

'The review in The Times described the Memoir as 'a touching biographical sketch, written by Princess Christian, containing not only unpublished extracts from Her Majesty's private journals, but the sad story of the death-bed scenes at Darmstadt, described by a devoted friend of the Grand Duchess who attended her in her illness...This loving little memoir by the Princess Christian gives us a higher and clearer insight into the beautiful character of one of the most estimable and loveable of women.'
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alicky1872 »

bluetoria

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2005, 04:42:12 AM »
That's so interesting, Mrs. Eddy! It must have been very irksome for Lenchen and QV to think that a publisher claimed copyright of letters which were written to them!!!

There was some friction between Alice and Lenchen not only because of Alice's early opposition to Lenchen's marriage (even though  Alice was thinking only of Lenchen's happiness & it was she herself who eventually persuaded Bertie to attend the ceremony) but also because Lenchen's dowry far exceeded her own. Alice, being relatively impoverished at the time, thought it unfair that QV would not send her more money when Lenchen had a larger dowry & a 'free' home. I think the friction was short-lived though and the closeness of Lenchen's & Alice's children reflects the closeness of their mothers.

Offline Teddy

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2005, 06:26:17 AM »
Advice to a grand-daughter by Richard Hough.

Its a book about the correspondence between Queen Victoria of England and her grand daughter Princess Victoria of Hesse (Battenberg).

Who can tell me more about this book. Is it nice book? Pictures? :)

Thank you in advance.

Teddy

Offline tea_rose

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2005, 06:21:31 PM »
  Teddy, I have this book. I read it years ago from the library and finally acquired it. If you have read the multi-volume series of letters between Queen Victoria and her daughter, Vicky ("Dearest Child," ""Your Dear Letter", etc.), you will have an idea of what to expect here. This book is similar in that it includes correspondence between Victoria and her granddaughter, Victoria of Hesse, with lots of annotations and explanatory notes.  

 This is  absolutely my favorite sort of book-so I loved reading it (and re-reading it). The photos are not particularly unique-but the book is well worth a look and a buy. You can obtain an inexpensive copy on the book sites, I believe. I won my copy on Ebay.  I wish I had more  and morevolumes of Queen Victoria's correspondence with her relations; Drat Princess Beatrice and her censorship once again!  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by tea_rose »

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2006, 01:56:34 PM »
Advice to a Granddaughter provides the reade with an uncanny insight into the relationship Queen Victoria had with one of her favorite grandchildren.  I believe it to be an amazing book and it will be very nicely complemented by Ilana Miller's upcoming book on the Hessian sisters.

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Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2006, 12:38:17 PM »
I happened to find this in Oxfam today for £1 so I bought it, obviously. ;D

However, I've never heard of it before or the author, so I thought I'd check that it is reliable before I get stuck in.

It looks really interesting and there are some great photos I've never seen before.  I couldn't believe my luck when I found it!

Rachel
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