The Letters of Queen Victoria. A Selection from Her Majesty’s Correspondence between the Years 1837 and 1861. Volume 3 (1854 -1861)

Arthur Christopher Benson and Viscount Esher

Series: Historical Figures
BISAC: HIS015000

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In her early years, Queen Victoria formed the habit of methodologically preserving her private letters. After her accession to the throne, she treated her official papers similarly and bound them into volumes, resulting in what might be the most extraordinary series of State documents in the world. This book, originally published in 1908, is a collection of those letters that serve to bring out the development of the Queen’s character and disposition and to give typical instances of her methods in dealing with political and social matters. Nothing comes out more strongly in these documents than the laborious patience with which the queen kept herself informed of the minutest details of political and social movements both in her own and other countries.

Chapter 1 (1854). The Eastern Question —Attack on the Prince—The French alliance—The Orleans family—The Reform Bill—The Baltic command—The British ultimatum—Departure of the Guards—War declared—Cabinet dissensions—Austrian interests—The Sultan—Prussian policy—Marshal St Arnaud—Invasion of the Principalities—Separation of Departments—The Russian loan—Debates on the War—Prince Albert and the Emperor Napoleon—The Crimea—Battle of the Alma—Maharajah Dhuleep Singh—Attack on Sebastopol—Battle of Inkerman—Death of Sir G. Cathcart—A hurricane—Lord John Russell and the Premiership—Miss Nightingale's mission

Chapter 2 (1855). Peace proposals —The Four Points—Offer of the Garter to the Premier—Sufferings of the troops in the Crimea—Resignation of Lord John—The Queen's disapproval—Lord Palmerston as Leader—The Ministry defeated—Lord Derby sent for—Lord Palmerston and the Leadership—Lord Derby's failure—Lord Lansdowne consulted—Lord John sent for—Disappointment of Lord John—Lord Palmerston to be Premier—Intervention of Lord Aberdeen—The new Cabinet—The Vienna Conference—Resignation of the Peelites—Death of the Czar—Lord Panmure at the War Office—Negotiations at Vienna—Visit of the Emperor—Russia and the Black Sea—Estimate of the Emperor—Retirement of Canrobert—Death of Lord Raglan—General Simpson in command—Lord John resigns—Battle of the Tchernaya—Visit to Paris—At the tomb of Bonaparte—Fall of Sebastopol—Life Peerages—Prince Frederick William of Prussia—Offer to Lord Stanley—France and Austria—Visit of the King of Sardinia

Chapter 3 (1856). The Conference —The Queen's determination—Russia accepts the terms—Sardinia and the Conference—Protection of neutrals—The Crimean enquiry—Incorporation of Oudh—Canning succeeds Dalhousie—Unclouded horizon in India—Future of the Principalities—Birth of the Prince Imperial—The Princess Royal—The Treaty of Paris—End of the War—Garter for Lord Palmerston—The Title of Prince Consort—Position of the Queen's husband—Retirement of Lord Hardinge—Appointment of the Duke of Cambridge—Lord Granville's mission—Coronation of the Czar—A Royal proposal—Russian procrastination—Death of Lord Hardinge—The Archduke Maximilian—Affair of Neuchâtel—Death of Prince Charles of Leiningen—Dispute with the United States

Chapter 4 (1857). The China War —Position of Parties—Defeat of the Government—The General Election—The Divorce Bill—Betrothal of Princess Charlotte of Belgium—The Indian Mutiny—Delhi—Cawnpore—Marriage of Princess Charlotte—Visit of the Emperor Napoleon—Death of Sir Henry Lawrence—Condition of Lucknow—Sir Colin Campbell—Reinforcement of Lucknow—Death of the Duchesse de Nemours—Crisis in the City—Future Government of India—Clemency of Lord Canning—Death of Havelock

Chapter 5 (1858). Marriage of Princess Royal —The Orsini attentat —The Conspiracy Bill—Resignation of the Government—Lord Derby summoned—The new Cabinet—Trial of Bernard—The Emperor and the Carbonari—Capture of Lucknow—Confirmation of the Prince of Wales—The second India Bill—The Oudh Proclamation—Lord Ellenborough's despatch—A crisis—Lord Derby's despatch—Lord Aberdeen consulted—Prerogative of Dissolution—Collapse of the attack—Views of Sir James Outram—Offer to Mr Gladstone—Purification of the Thames—Visit to Cherbourg—British Columbia—The Ionian Islands—The Princess Royal in Prussia The India Office—Lord Canning's Proclamation—Napoleon and Italy

Chapter 6 (1859). The Emperor Napoleon and M. Hübner —Attitude of the Pope—Northern Italy—The Queen's first grandchild—Advice to the Emperor Napoleon—Meeting of Parliament—The Indian forces—The Prince of Wales at Rome—Advice to Emperor of Austria—Mission of Lord Cowley—Question of a Conference—The summons to Sardinia—Revolution in the Duchies—The compact of Plombières—The general election—Policy of the Emperor Napoleon—Meeting a new Parliament—Question of neutrality—Debate on the Address—The Ministry defeated—The Garter for Lord Derby—Lord Granville summoned—The rival leaders—Lord Palmerston Premier—Offer to Mr Cobden—India pacified—Victory of the French—The Emperor Napoleon's appeal—End of the War—Ascendancy of France—Views of the Pope—Cavour's disappointment—Meeting of the Emperors—The provisions of Villafranca—Italian policy—Sardinia and Central Italy—The Emperor Napoleon and Lord Palmerston—Invitation from President Buchanan—Pro-Italian Ministers—Objections to Sir J. Hudson—Divorce Court reports

Chapter 7 (1860). The Emperor Napoleon's pamphlet, The Pope and the Congress —Annexation of Savoy—Meeting of Parliament—Sardinian designs—Mr Gladstone's Budget—Scene at the Tuileries—The Emperor and Lord Cowley—The Swiss protest—Death of Prince Hohenlohe—The Indian Civil Service—The Paper Duties—The Lords and Money Bills—Mr Gladstone and resignation—The Prince of Wales's tour—The Volunteer Review—Flight of the King of Naples—The King's appeal to Queen Victoria—Tour of Prince Alfred—Sardinia and Naples—The Empress of Austria—Betrothal of Princess Alice—Episcopal appointments—Visit of the Empress Eugénie

Chapter 8 (1861). Conservative overtures to Lord Palmerston —Illness of King of Prussia—His death—The absorption of Naples—Garter for new King of Prussia—The Provostship of Eton—Lord John and Garibaldi—Death of Duchess of Kent—Bereavement—The war in America—Recognition of the South—Death of Cavour—Death of Lord Campbell—The new Foreign Office—Earldom for Lord John Russell—Swedish politics—The Emperor Napoleon's aims—At Frogmore—Visit to Ireland—Tranquillity of Ireland—The Orleans Princes—The Prussian Coronation—Fêtes at Berlin— The Times and Prussia—Death of King of Portugal—The affair of the Trent —The Compiègne interview—An ultimatum—The Prince's last letter—Illness of the Prince—The Crisis—Sympathy—Bereavement—Death of Lady Canning—A noble resolve—Comfort and hope

List of Illustrations

H.M. Queen Victoria, H.R.H. the Prince Consort, and Children.
From the picture by F. Winterhalter at Buckingham Palace

H.M. Eugénie, Empress of the French.
From a miniature by Sir W. K. Ross at Windsor Castle

Viscount Palmerston, K.G.
From the drawing by Sir George Richmond, R.A., in the possession of the Earl of Carnwath

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.
From a drawing by F. Winterhalter, 1859

H.R.H. The Prince Consort, 1861.
From the picture by Smith, after Corbould, at Buckingham Palace

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