The sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert resolutely lived life on her own terms, and in this biography the author sets the story forth, in spite of difficulties with archives which conceal more than they reveal. There was plenty to conceal--a possible illegitimate child, a long-term extra marital affair with an artist, and a husband who was more than likely gay. The author accepts all these widely-speculated upon situations as facts, with the archival gaps as proof.
The author, a descendent of Charles Dickens, has a genuine feeling for the stifling complexities of life in Queen Victoria's family, and sensitivity for the emotional scars suffered by the children of maybe the world's worst mother. Biography lovers should try this account of someone not already written about ad infinitum and ad nauseam.