A new book about Queen Victoria, mentioning her links with Sidmouth, will be published next month.
Queen Victoria: Her Life and Legacy by Paul Kendall is an illustrated biography which tells the story of Queen Victoria’s life and legacy, through locations and objects. It touches on the links Victoria had to Sidmouth; she spent a winter there when she was a baby.
For almost 64 years, Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain during a period that saw the country become the most powerful and prestigious in the world. At the very start of her reign she took an interest in politics, playing an active part in the machinations of government, and worked with ten prime ministers. She broke down barriers between sovereign and her subjects, ensuring that she was visible to the public.
She became the first monarch to use the railway as a mode of transport, to use anesthetic to alleviate pain, during childbirth, and to use a telephone. Victoria also established the tradition of the white wedding, wearing a white bridal dress to ensure that her subjects could see her.
Paul Kendall said: “The Royal Glen Hotel in Sidmouth is featured in the book because it was here that Queen Victoria stayed during Christmas 1819 when she was an infant aged seven months old. There is a plaque in Room 15 in the hotel, with the inscription ‘The room was occupied by her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria 1819-1820’.During her brief stay, the future queen nearly lost her life when a bullet fired by a boy shooting birds nearly hit her in this room, and it was here where her father died.”
All aspects of Victoria’s life are covered within the book. Her personal life as well as her public persona are examined, with illustrations of many of the places and palaces that were significant locations. There are also photos of artefacts that epitomize her reign: for example, the world’s first pre-paid adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, which, of course, bore her image, and the gold enamelled brooch presented by Queen Victoria to Florence Nightingale in 1855 for her work in Crimea.
Queen Victoria: Her Life and Legacy will be published by Frontline Books on February 28.
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