There was one aspect of ordinary life, petty or otherwise, that deeply concerned Victoria herself: the marital fate of her children and grandchildren. The House of Hanover’s marriages could affect international politics, as Deborah Cadbury shows in Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking, and gave the queen’s aspirations a broader scope than 'merely' her empire ... Ms. Cadbury focuses on troubles in the next generation, particularly the hapless Prince Eddy, Edward’s eldest son... Ms. Cadbury stresses the human element of her story, not least the wayward personalities and unforeseen family rivalries that thwarted Victoria’s designs as monarch and matriarch ... Tragedy runs through Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking.
Readers will need a scorecard to keep up with them all, but rest assured, there will be mistresses, euphemisms for sexually transmitted infections (poor Eddie’s 'gout') and general disobedience ... Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking is targeted at royal-watchers and viewers of BBC’s great biopic television series 'Victoria.' It may also interest readers of the 'what-if' school of history ...this is a rich history of Queen Victoria’s canny use of political power. 'Grandmama’s' interest in the marriages of her children and grandchildren goes far beyond a doting mother’s dedication to her family: Matchmaking had the power to make and break empires — if only those being matched would do as they were told.
...it was partly due to Victoria’s manipulative energy that seven of her 42 grandchildren eventually became crowned rulers. Much of the pathos of Deborah Cadbury’s absorbing book stems from our knowledge of what happened next ... Anarchy was the brooding giant that overshadowed Queen Victoria’s manipulative scheming in her role as 'universal grandmother' ... Dynastic mergers, we may deduce from Deborah Cadbury’s account, offer no defence against the whims of history. This catastrophe-laced slice of royal history offers a ripping read.