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In 1901, two literary gentlemen were appointed a novel task: to preserve the memory of Queen Victoria in her own words. By the time they were finished, 460 volumes of the Queen’s correspondence had become just three; their decisions — and distortions — would influence perceptions of Victoria for generations to come. The editors chosen for the task were deeply eccentric and complicated men. Baron Esher was the consummate royal confidant who hid his obsession with Eton boys and incestuous relationship with his youngest son behind a persona of charm and discretion. Arthur Benson, an ex-Etonian master and closeted homosexual, struggled to fit in with the blue-blooded clubs and codes of the court while fighting bouts of severe depression. Together with King Edward VII they would decide how Victoria was to be remembered — avoiding scandal, protecting the new king, promoting their own preconceptions about Victoria and her court, obscuring her role as a mother, and propping up the politics of the day. Based on unprecedented access to the original archives, this is a fascinating piece of historical detective work.
We see Victoria as a strong-willed child with a famous temper, as the 18-year-old girl queen, as a monarch, wife, mother and widow.
'There were many staff at Kensington, fulfilling many roles; a man who was employed to catch rats, another whose job it was to sweep the chimneys. That there was someone expected to hunt Demons did not shock the new Queen; that it was to be her was something of a surprise.' London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the sceptre, and an arsenal of blood-stained weaponry. Because if Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there's the small matter of the demons to take care of first... But rather than dreaming of demon hunting, it is Prince Albert who occupies her thoughts. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere? With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best Demon Hunter the world has ever seen . . . A E Moorat weaves a seamlessly lurid tapestry of royal biography, gothic horror and fist-gnawing comedy as he lifts the veil on what really took place on the dark and cobbled streets of 19th-century England.

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