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Alice, The Enigma - A Biography of Queen Victoria's Daughter

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Of all Queen Victoria’s nine children, none was more intriguing than her second daughter, Alice. The contradictions in her personality are so striking that, while she has often been overshadowed by her more illustrious brother, King Edward VII, and her brilliant sister, the German Empress Frederick, she remains to this day an enigma, the depths of whose character are virtu Of all Queen Victoria’s nine children, none was more intriguing than her second daughter, Alice. The contradictions in her personality are so striking that, while she has often been overshadowed by her more illustrious brother, King Edward VII, and her brilliant sister, the German Empress Frederick, she remains to this day an enigma, the depths of whose character are virtually impossible to penetrate. By the time of her premature death at the age of only thirty-five, Alice had lived through two wars, had lost two of her children, and had exhausted herself in her devotion to duty to the extent that she suffered from disillusionment almost to the point of despair. Nonetheless, in the final tragic weeks of her life, she met unimaginable grief with courage and serenity, and her last words demonstrated her ultimate redemption and the beautiful restoration of all she had loved and lost.


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Of all Queen Victoria’s nine children, none was more intriguing than her second daughter, Alice. The contradictions in her personality are so striking that, while she has often been overshadowed by her more illustrious brother, King Edward VII, and her brilliant sister, the German Empress Frederick, she remains to this day an enigma, the depths of whose character are virtu Of all Queen Victoria’s nine children, none was more intriguing than her second daughter, Alice. The contradictions in her personality are so striking that, while she has often been overshadowed by her more illustrious brother, King Edward VII, and her brilliant sister, the German Empress Frederick, she remains to this day an enigma, the depths of whose character are virtually impossible to penetrate. By the time of her premature death at the age of only thirty-five, Alice had lived through two wars, had lost two of her children, and had exhausted herself in her devotion to duty to the extent that she suffered from disillusionment almost to the point of despair. Nonetheless, in the final tragic weeks of her life, she met unimaginable grief with courage and serenity, and her last words demonstrated her ultimate redemption and the beautiful restoration of all she had loved and lost.

30 review for Alice, The Enigma - A Biography of Queen Victoria's Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zosi

    3.5 stars. Pretty standard biography. The first half did focus a lot more on Victoria and Albert, but Alice didn’t live very long so I suppose there wasn’t a ton of material to draw from. She comes across as a modern woman for her time period, who died far too soon and is sometimes overshadowed by her more famous siblings and children, but who deserves to be remembered and admired in her own right.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Alice remains an enigma. Over half the book covers V & A and when the reader finally meets Alice as an individual, we're told what a multi-faceted woman she was for her time, how much time she devoted to social changes and medicine, but we're left with brief glimpses of her relationships with her children and husband and too much time is spent on the conflicts between Alice and her mother. The pace races toward, and through her death, with little to no follow-up on how her immediate family was a Alice remains an enigma. Over half the book covers V & A and when the reader finally meets Alice as an individual, we're told what a multi-faceted woman she was for her time, how much time she devoted to social changes and medicine, but we're left with brief glimpses of her relationships with her children and husband and too much time is spent on the conflicts between Alice and her mother. The pace races toward, and through her death, with little to no follow-up on how her immediate family was affected by their loss. Poor editing and no images. With so much archived material available, this bio could easily have been so much more.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Giffi

    Yes, this had a lot of information about Victoria and Albert, but it it was necessary to understand Alice. Can you truly understand a person without understanding his/her family background? I'd say no. This was very moving and while I know Prince Albert died young, it will emotional to learn about the effect it had on Alice.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carole P. Roman

    Quick read about Queen Victoria's second daughter Alice. While not scholarly,it serves a purpose to identify the different children, highlighting Alice from the crowd. Croft's style has a light, gossipy feel. It is a good way for someone who wants to familiarize themselves with Victoria's children with an easy to understand recounting of Alice's short life. Brighter than many of other children, she stands out as her father's daughter with her devotion to both her parents and children. A likable Quick read about Queen Victoria's second daughter Alice. While not scholarly,it serves a purpose to identify the different children, highlighting Alice from the crowd. Croft's style has a light, gossipy feel. It is a good way for someone who wants to familiarize themselves with Victoria's children with an easy to understand recounting of Alice's short life. Brighter than many of other children, she stands out as her father's daughter with her devotion to both her parents and children. A likable royal, it was an interesting book about a fascinating woman determined to take her responsibilities as seriously as she was taught.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Well Read Southerner Blog

    I didn't think this book went into enough detail about Alice. I felt like it spent more time on the royal family than her and really only skimmed her life as if this were some high school essay. It really could have been fleshed out more. I hated the title of the book too...Alice, the Enigma? That's the best thing you could say about her to title a book and capture a reader? The art on the cover got me more than the title did. Also, the formatting of the Kindle edition was just weird with spelli I didn't think this book went into enough detail about Alice. I felt like it spent more time on the royal family than her and really only skimmed her life as if this were some high school essay. It really could have been fleshed out more. I hated the title of the book too...Alice, the Enigma? That's the best thing you could say about her to title a book and capture a reader? The art on the cover got me more than the title did. Also, the formatting of the Kindle edition was just weird with spelling and grammar errors. Wasn't there an editor? But, the story itself is good but there just needs to be more of it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    A quick, but interesting, read about the woman who was Queen Victoria's second daughter, Tsarina Alexandra's mother, and Prince Philip's great-grandmother. The book is a little light on new information, and it breezes through Alice's life, especially her childhood. Unlike some books that seem to get inside of the head of their subject, this stayed a few degrees removed, reporting about her interactions with her parents and older sister, rather than exploring Alice completely.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gina Basham

    Thorough A thorough account of Alice. Well written and researched. As always any biographies that include Queen Victoria's letters are more robust. A sad ending to an accomplished life. Reading about Alice given what her children would go through is tragic. I would recommend. Gbash

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie Murphy

    Princess Alice I was left wanting to know more about this amazing woman. Philanthropist, strong willed, intelligent, as well as friend and benefactor to Florence Nightingale. Clearly her father's daughter. Very good read.Long

  9. 4 out of 5

    MissyLynne

    As much as I enjoyed reading about Alice, I felt like her story was being overshadowed by Victoria and Albert. Yes, I understand that they are her parents and such, but there was too much of them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Quick and interesting read but I was left wanting more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frumykle

    Interesting and enlightening. Her relation with her brother Leopold was not mentioned in depth, only that she loved and worried about him. But very informative on the whole.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    A quick biography on Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, but overall if you have read other books on Victoria and Albert's family, you can skip this one as there is nothing really ground-breaking or extensive. In fact, over half of the book is detailing her parents and family life before she is married. I'm also quite sure the author does not know what enigma (a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand) means. Was Alice progressive for her time, especially in A quick biography on Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, but overall if you have read other books on Victoria and Albert's family, you can skip this one as there is nothing really ground-breaking or extensive. In fact, over half of the book is detailing her parents and family life before she is married. I'm also quite sure the author does not know what enigma (a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand) means. Was Alice progressive for her time, especially in comparison to her rather traditional, temperamental mother? Yes, but that didn't mean other didn't share her view. Also, the author's prologue of trying to explain how contradictory Alice was by saying "she liked to help people, but also liked nice clothes! Crazy right?!" lead me to believe the author doesn't think people have layers or can like more than one thing at once.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Varn

    I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. Princess Alice is my favorite daughter of Queen Victoria’s. I admire her for her kindness & caring for people of poverty & lower classes even though she was the daughter of a queen. She devoted herself to recreating a childhood for her children that she enjoyed as a child. She was a loving mother, daughter & wife. I personally find her very lovely & pretty inside & out. She reminds me so much of her father. I wish I could time travel back to her time & conv I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. Princess Alice is my favorite daughter of Queen Victoria’s. I admire her for her kindness & caring for people of poverty & lower classes even though she was the daughter of a queen. She devoted herself to recreating a childhood for her children that she enjoyed as a child. She was a loving mother, daughter & wife. I personally find her very lovely & pretty inside & out. She reminds me so much of her father. I wish I could time travel back to her time & converse with her.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This wikipedia entry of a book barely has anything to do with Alice at all. This is a book about Victoria & Albert with “and Alice” tacked onto a sentence here and there. Sure, I’m all for getting a full picture of her life and the people around her so that I can understand her better. Unfortunately that’s not the case here. Don’t bother with this poorly edited and poorly researched blog post in book format. Google the subject and you’ll get just as much if not more (and better) info about her t This wikipedia entry of a book barely has anything to do with Alice at all. This is a book about Victoria & Albert with “and Alice” tacked onto a sentence here and there. Sure, I’m all for getting a full picture of her life and the people around her so that I can understand her better. Unfortunately that’s not the case here. Don’t bother with this poorly edited and poorly researched blog post in book format. Google the subject and you’ll get just as much if not more (and better) info about her that way.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kervin Jacque

    I enjoyed learning about Princess Alice and who she was When you read this book about Alice, you learn who she is as a person . Her character, as not just a woman but as someone who always had a very strong curiosity about life , God, etc. You learn of the excellent qualities which she gotten from her father , Prince Albert. And how beloved, truly she was to every.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Wright

    Not bad More interesting than I thought it would be. I've always like Princess Alice and now I know more. I wish she had had less tragedy in her life as she seems like a good person.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Review I km have become so interested with English royalty that I seem to be reading all that I can find. This one was worth the hunt.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Decent bio of Princess Alice, daughter of Victoria, mother of Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. Does a nice job describing the events and emotions are Prince Albert's death.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    Thorough research Lots of historical background. I enjoyed this book . A quick read and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Victorian era.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Weber

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Harris

  22. 4 out of 5

    ReGina

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ms C Diamond

  25. 4 out of 5

    Net Gerber

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jor

  27. 5 out of 5

    ross ziegler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris Scott

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah F

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