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Born a princess of Schleswig-Holstein in 1858, Empress Augusta Victoria, known in the family as ‘Dona’, was marked out from early childhood as a potential bride for Prince William of Prussia. When they married in 1881, everyone expected that she would never concern herself with more than the traditional Prussian princess’s interests of Kirche, Küche, Kinder (church, kitche Born a princess of Schleswig-Holstein in 1858, Empress Augusta Victoria, known in the family as ‘Dona’, was marked out from early childhood as a potential bride for Prince William of Prussia. When they married in 1881, everyone expected that she would never concern herself with more than the traditional Prussian princess’s interests of Kirche, Küche, Kinder (church, kitchen, children). Yet within twenty years of his accession as William II, the last German Emperor, she would become in some ways the stronger character and steadying influence her increasingly neurotic and unstable husband required. This is the first biography of an often overlooked personality in modern history.


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Born a princess of Schleswig-Holstein in 1858, Empress Augusta Victoria, known in the family as ‘Dona’, was marked out from early childhood as a potential bride for Prince William of Prussia. When they married in 1881, everyone expected that she would never concern herself with more than the traditional Prussian princess’s interests of Kirche, Küche, Kinder (church, kitche Born a princess of Schleswig-Holstein in 1858, Empress Augusta Victoria, known in the family as ‘Dona’, was marked out from early childhood as a potential bride for Prince William of Prussia. When they married in 1881, everyone expected that she would never concern herself with more than the traditional Prussian princess’s interests of Kirche, Küche, Kinder (church, kitchen, children). Yet within twenty years of his accession as William II, the last German Emperor, she would become in some ways the stronger character and steadying influence her increasingly neurotic and unstable husband required. This is the first biography of an often overlooked personality in modern history.

30 review for The last German Empress

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Meridith

    Having read “Dearest Fritz, Darling Vicky” by John Van Der Kiste prior to this... I had a pretty high expectation for his writing, research, and storytelling. With that being said, I pray this was an earlier book of his. I was quite astounded by the spelling and grammatical errors that managed to sneak past an Editor (for shame)! There were illogical sentences that gave the impression of being rushed. I credit Van Der Kiste for writing on an individual who is relatively unknown and other than a c Having read “Dearest Fritz, Darling Vicky” by John Van Der Kiste prior to this... I had a pretty high expectation for his writing, research, and storytelling. With that being said, I pray this was an earlier book of his. I was quite astounded by the spelling and grammatical errors that managed to sneak past an Editor (for shame)! There were illogical sentences that gave the impression of being rushed. I credit Van Der Kiste for writing on an individual who is relatively unknown and other than a cameo in books about her husband, has not received an English story. Yes, the Kaiser was a mentally unstable man but doesn’t it take a mentally unstable woman to endure him? Or perhaps she outwitted him playing his own game. Regardless, though I read through this book thoroughly, I don’t really feel any more informed than I was before opening it. Sure, I’m not an average reader per-se (historical biographies are my life), but I felt there was not enough substance for gain. Perhaps I am being hard on Van Der Kiste. I am only being a tough critic because I know he is a better writer than what this book displays. While this read was rather disappointing, I am not thwarted from reading another of his books as there is a stark contrast between this book and “Dearest Fritz, Darling Vicky”.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ghost of the Library

    Do I like her? No, not at all. Do I end this book respecting her? .... Yup I do, and kudos to the author for it. Proper review to follow

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    It is always difficult to read books about royalty and nobility when people names and title often change, but the author does absolutely to help the reader along with this. There are many grammatical, proofreading and typographical errors, together with repetitions and poor writing style. However, for some reason, I had never thought of Kaiser Wilhelm being married and having a family, but, indeed he did. This is the story of Empress Augusta Victoria, the Kaiser's wife. Basically, she was pretty It is always difficult to read books about royalty and nobility when people names and title often change, but the author does absolutely to help the reader along with this. There are many grammatical, proofreading and typographical errors, together with repetitions and poor writing style. However, for some reason, I had never thought of Kaiser Wilhelm being married and having a family, but, indeed he did. This is the story of Empress Augusta Victoria, the Kaiser's wife. Basically, she was pretty boring and judgmental and closed-minded, and very irritating to her husband, and often in hysterics, but she had her good points and was an excellent mother and, when things got really bad, the mainstay of her husband. She conducted herself with pride and dignity when all was lost. It made me think, however, that all of us have our difficulties, and often are out of our depths, but sometimes we fall and sometimes we rise. She ended up very beloved by her children, husband, and country. One passage moved me in particular. When the Empress came to join her husband after his abdication, " . . . he looked up to see his wife with whom he was reunited at last, he stood to attention and gave her a military salute. Then with tears in her eyes, she ran over and embraced him, for the first time in public." All in all, despite it faults, the book was short, and filled in some historical blank spots for me, so it was worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan Williams

    Well worth reading Who knew that Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany of WWI fame had a wife who gave him so many children, adored him and who became a great support, comfort and strength to him later in their marriage. You see another side of the Kaiser who seemed to regard her as a brood mare initially whom he had to visit to ensure the succession between visits to mistresses but who later came to appreciate her steadfastness, selflessness, love and ability to shore him up during weak moments. Fascinating Well worth reading Who knew that Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany of WWI fame had a wife who gave him so many children, adored him and who became a great support, comfort and strength to him later in their marriage. You see another side of the Kaiser who seemed to regard her as a brood mare initially whom he had to visit to ensure the succession between visits to mistresses but who later came to appreciate her steadfastness, selflessness, love and ability to shore him up during weak moments. Fascinating. I agree with some reviewers that genealogy family trees and a map or two would have been helpful as there were many many relatives in the numerous German duchies who Intermarried with one another and were all some kind of cousin. Difficult to keep them straight, especially as they predominantly seemed to be named Victoria or William. 😁 I appreciate the author's detailed research as well as his writing ability. It is about time someone wrote a biography of this little known third German Empress, Augusta Victoria. Short but long enough to get the full picture of her life and contributions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kervin Jacque

    I'm glad to know Germanys most loyal Queen I honestly never really knew who exactly the German Empress was. I've often read about other royals and surprisingly, I never got to know or learn about Germanys empress. Empress Augusta Victoria was truly a women of her time and a Empress who was not just obedient and understanding but someone who accepted the burdens of marriage and the responsibilities of being an Empress and wife. The way she juggles all these things and being Targetted from those wh I'm glad to know Germanys most loyal Queen I honestly never really knew who exactly the German Empress was. I've often read about other royals and surprisingly, I never got to know or learn about Germanys empress. Empress Augusta Victoria was truly a women of her time and a Empress who was not just obedient and understanding but someone who accepted the burdens of marriage and the responsibilities of being an Empress and wife. The way she juggles all these things and being Targetted from those who didn't like her, is someone who has so much strength and persistence. She was a rock, unbreakable and someone who stood firm, im glad to have learned about her.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Wright

    Not bad If you are working through all of Queen Victoria 's family, then this one should be on the list. It is a not a bit exciting account of one of the queens granddaugters in law. Not bad If you are working through all of Queen Victoria 's family, then this one should be on the list. It is a not a bit exciting account of one of the queens granddaugters in law.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Well written and researched, but I took an utter dislike to Augusta, as well as her husband Kaiser Wilhelm II. (Well, I disliked him already.) I did finish it, but would only recommend it if you have an intense interest in the royal activities in this period.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Fine book on a subject usually relegated to the sidelines and to footnotes. Only interesting after the Kaiser's collapse and when her family situation was described. She wasn't particularly important or interesting in the early years of her marriage. Did not realise that she became so important, like Mrs. Wilson to Woodrow. Her personality was shown as multifaceted in this book, which helped to understand her, as in other books, she is only portrayed as a religious and judgmental woman who only Fine book on a subject usually relegated to the sidelines and to footnotes. Only interesting after the Kaiser's collapse and when her family situation was described. She wasn't particularly important or interesting in the early years of her marriage. Did not realise that she became so important, like Mrs. Wilson to Woodrow. Her personality was shown as multifaceted in this book, which helped to understand her, as in other books, she is only portrayed as a religious and judgmental woman who only cared about church and family. Her funeral was described in too great of detail. Would love to see a book about her children as her interactions with them and descriptions of their lives were very interesting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael D Mangan

    A vapid woman A vapid woman One very rarely sees anything on this Empress. reading this book one can see why. She was totally dull, a good mother, but that is it. no wonder she only receives just a passing mention in books about this period.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dieter Blennemann

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

  13. 4 out of 5

    deborah wedick

  14. 5 out of 5

    J

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  16. 5 out of 5

    J Riches

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ewa

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Rees

  19. 5 out of 5

    lia Heiden

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Russell

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Butler

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Bupp

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Guadarrama

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Parker

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sherea Risk

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luv Lubker

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Nimmo

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan O Hutson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ada

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