Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Born to Rule by Julia Gelardi

Born to Rule by Julia Gelardi

The five queens, granddaughters of Queen Victoria, led tempestuous lives in turbulent times. They lived through wars and revolutions. Some were accused of treason; one was even cruelly murdered for it.

Julia Gelardi tells the story of the five queens clearly and vividly in this interesting book. She gets rid of misconceptions, and vindicates their reputations. I found the story of Queen Sophie, the Queen of Greece, who suffered greatly because she was the Kaiser's sister, and reviled by the Greeks and the English because she was supposedly sympathetic to Germany during the First World War, especially enlightening.

I knew a lot about Empress Alexandra of Russia before I began the book, but I had not read much about the others. All of the Queens deserve their own biographies, but putting them all together and comparing their influences, similarities, and differences was an excellent idea. I liked to read about how the different Queens handled their roles and adapted to the political situations in their countries. Queen Marie of Romania was probably the most outstanding in her ability to adapt and her strength of character. It was interesting to compare her with the Empress Alexandra, who was a much weaker person, and remained too aloof from her people.

This book was a sympathetic portrayal of the five Queens, and I enjoyed the book greatly. I am interested in reading more of Julia Gelardi

NB: This post is also on my Book Addiction blog.

3 comments:

Matterhorn said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. Of course, I feel very sorry for Empress Alexandra, but she has always struck me as rather lugubrious. Did you get the same impression?

Viola said...

It's well-worth reading, Matterhorn.

The Empress had a very tragic life. She lost her mother and brother when she was very young, and then she had the dreadful worry of her son's illness. Also, the Russians really didn't like her at the start because they regarded her as 'German'.

I can't help feeling that she shouldn't have been taken in by Rasputin, however, and that she should have kept him right away from her daughters.

Kittie Howard said...

Great review. Didn't know about the book but will have to get it. I have a certain sympathy for Empress Alexandria. However, my favorite of the group is Queen Marie. I can't remember the title of the biography, but it's one of the best I've EVER read. Queen Marie did much for Romania.

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