Queen Victoria sitting on a bed

Unsuitable for Publication: Editing Queen Victoria, by Yvonne Ward

Published 2013, 208 pages

A quick glance at the cover made me think I had picked up Victoria The Queen, by Julia Baird (which undoes the bias which occurred back then). The book discusses how two old boys from Eton, Viscount Esher and Arthur Benson, gave the modern world its view of Queen Victoria.

The author goes into a lot of detail how the editors went about their task, which was a huge one and sometimes there were regrets that they took it on. The editors can’t be blamed completely for the skewed image of Queen Victoria as they had to avoid displeasing the king even though one of them was good friends with him.

One bias was caused by Esher and Benson focusing on the male communications and not the female ones.

Due to being over careful with the sensitivities of the king the publication of The Letters of Queen Victoria was delayed quite a bit. The author discusses the type-setting process of a book. Even though I read books a lot it’s something I never gave thought to. Even a small book would need lots of typesetting, but this one ran into three volumes and sold for 3 guineas (about £3 3s, or £3.30). All five thousand copies were sold and it was generally well received.

The book is a good study of censorship. Highly recommended.

Further Information

Victoria (2016)

The Young Victoria (2009)

Queen Victoria’s Children (2013)

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