Her Dour Reputation Aside, Queen Victoria Was Quite a Sketch
When an upstart publisher threatened to print Queen Victoria's etchings in 1849, her consort, Prince Albert, got an injunction to keep them private. They were not just doodles, after all, but the most intimate family record of a time before Buckingham Palace had a Snowdon, much less an Instamatic. Now, at last, Queen Elizabeth II has authorized the publication of Queen Victoria's Sketchbook (Crown, $17.95). Between the ages of 8 and 71, when her eyesight dimmed, Victoria was seldom without pencil and pad. She had nine children and traveled widely. As Victoria confided to her diary at 16, two years before beginning a 64-year reign: "I love to be employed. I hate to be idle."
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