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Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes

By Theo Aronson

One would expect the rulers of England and France to have a relationship of some kind, if only political. But the personal relationships that developed between Victoria and Albert of Great Britain, and their counterparts across the channel, were rather surprising.

Ambitious and flamboyant, Napoleon III of France and his wife the Empress Eugenie could hardly have been more different to the British monarch and her consort. And while Victoria was enchanted by that very difference, over the years their relationship was frequently strained by political and military events. 

But when the world of Napoleon III and Eugenie began to crumble, it was to their British friends that they fled. And when Eugenie lost her husband and her only child in swift succession, the publicly ice-cool Queen Victoria revealed her true character as she welcomed a heartbroken Eugenie into her own family.

In Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes, Theo Aronson reveals a little-known aspect of Queen Victoria’s life and deploys his skill as a writer and researcher to great effect, showing us the complex and often surprising characters behind the great names of history. 

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