2019 Calendar

Do you love reading about royals as much as I do? If so, check out my 2020 royal reading list - all the research books I bought, borrowed, and re-read are listed here. I’m adding books as I read them, so check back to see if your picks made the list.

Just scroll down to get the info for each book, including my comments. Or use the table of contents below to jump straight to a book you’re already interested in.

Want to suggest a book for me this year? I’d love to know what titles you recommend. Click here to drop me a line.

Last updated: February 21

Some book links below may be Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to buy through that link, it doesn’t change your price at all, but Amazon will give me a few extra cents for the tiara research fund.

Darling Child

Darling Child edited by Roger Fulford

Subtitle: Private Correspondence of Queen Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia 1871-1878
Editor: Roger Fulford
Publisher: Evans Brothers Limited London
Year: 1976
Available at: Amazon (used)

The books containing Queen Victoria’s correspondence with her daughter Vicky are like Pringles - once you pop, you can’t stop. This is book 4 in the series of 6 - click here to jump down the page and see what I said about book 3. In this volume, we get to hear about Alfred’s engagement and marriage to a Russian grand duchess, Vicky’s in-law struggles at the Prussian court, the way each woman’s kids disappointed her, and tidbits about the doings of various German princely families (George of Meiningen’s shocking marriage - the scheming Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin - oh my!).

Daughters of the Winter Queen

Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone

Author: Nancy Goldstone
Publisher: Back Bay Books (reprint edition)
Year: 2010
Available at: Amazon

I picked this up because I’ve read two other titles from Goldstone and enjoyed them both. This one is my favorite, though. It’s an easy read that goes into just enough depth on the four women portrayed. Even better? It’s a history book that’s written to be (gasp) enjoyed.

Erzählungen aus Meinem Leben

Daughters of the Winter Queen by Nancy Goldstone

Author: Christian Ludwig Herzog zu Mecklenburg
Publisher: Stock & Stein
Year: 1996
Available at: ABEBooks.co.uk

I bought this book when I decided to dig into the history of Grand Duchess Alexandra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s diamond and aquamarine tiara. Her son, Christian Ludwig, wrote this memoir about his youth in Mecklenburg, his experience in World War II, his years in Soviet captivity after the war, and his return visits to Mecklenburg in the ’80s, ’90s, and beyond. It’s a fascinating story, with lots of information about the family...and some crazy wartime and post-war experiences (Dunkirk, the plot to assassinate Hitler, and capture by the Soviets, to name a few). And in one hilarious moment, when his Soviet captors ask him to sign his own sentencing document, Christian Ludwig refuses. “Let’s call Stalin,” he says.

“That is impossible,” his captor says.

And Christian Ludwig slays with his response: “Oh, I assure you it’s possible - such a call can be made quite easily over the telephone.”

HA. Can’t you just imagine the movie version of this scene, with Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch as Christian Ludwig?

Napoleon’s Other Wife

Napoleon's Other Wife by Deborah Jay

Author: Deborah Jay
Publisher: Rosa’s Press
Year: 2015
Available at: Amazon

I read this book because - let’s face it - that’s an awesome cover. Yes, I can be that shallow. I read Michelle Moran’s novel about Empress Marie-Louise years ago and enjoyed it, so I was anxious to dive in and see what else I didn’t know about her.

Queen Victoria’s Cousins

Queen Victoria's Youngest Son by Charlotte Zeepvat

Author: Christina Croft
Publisher: Hilliard & Croft
Year: 2016
Available at: Amazon

There are plenty of books about Queen Victoria’s daughters, sons, granddaughters, and grandsons...but cousins? This sounded way more interesting to me. Her Belgian and Cambridge cousins were the only ones I could name instantly, which meant I needed the crash course this book provided.

Queen Victoria’s Youngest Son

Queen Victoria's Youngest Son by Charlotte Zeepvat

Author: Charlotte Zeepvat
Publisher: Thistle Publishing
Year: 2013
Available at: Amazon

I picked up this book through Kindle Unlimited because I’d read that Hilda of Nassau was considered as a bride for one of Queen Victoria’s sons. But which one? And how seriously? If it was Leopold (my guess, based on their ages), I was hoping to find mention of it in here.

Your Dear Letter

Your Dear Letter: Private Correspondence of Queen Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia 1865-1871

Subtitle: Private Correspondence of Queen Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia 1865-1871
Editor: Roger Fulford
Publisher: Scribner’s
Year: 1971
Available at: ABE Books (used)

I love reading the letters Queen Victoria and her eldest daughter, Vicky, wrote to each other after Vicky married and went to Prussia. That’s partly because I’m nosy, and partly because it turns them into real people, not cardboard historical figures. Despite the tiaras and the gowns and the palaces, here are ladies talking about ordinary things you or I would talk about: the shittiness of menopause, skin conditions, annoying relatives, annoying kids, underachieving relatives, underachieving kids, goals, hopes, dreams, and losses. It’s fascinating.

What royal history books have you read in 2020? Send me a message to recommend your favorites!

Here’s to another great year of royal reading & research in 2020!

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