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Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 and Empress of India from 1876 until her death. His very long reign is also known as the Victorian era. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III.
Acerca de Lytton Strachey
Giles Lytton Strachey, whose iconoclastic reexaminations of historical figures changed forever the course of modern biographical writing, was born in London on March 1, 1880, the eleventh child of a distinguished upper-class family. His father was an elderly lieutenant-general in the army who had spent much of his career in India. Strachey’s upbringing was supervised primarily by his mother, a strong-willed young Scotswoman well versed in English and French literature. He was educated in a series of private schools and attended University College, Liverpool, before entering Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1899. A member of the secret Cambridge Conversazione Society, better known as the Apostles, he made lasting friendships with Clive Bell, Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and other intellectuals who rejected Victorian mores and later formed the core of the illustrious Bloomsbury group. Thwarted in his attempts to pursue an academic career, Strachey returned to London in 1905. There he found work as an essayist for various journals and became drama critic for The Spectator. The favorable reception of his first book, Landmarks in French Literature (1912), bolstered his commitment to writing.Strachey’s next work, Eminent Victorians (1918), caused a succès de scandale, establishing him as a leader of the reaction against the Victorians that followed World War I. “Lytton Strachey’s chief mission . . . was to take down once and for all the pretensions of the Victorian Age to moral superiority,” noted Edmund Wilson. “In Eminent Victorians he stripped forever of their solemn upholstery the religion, the education, the statesmanship and the philanthropy of the society which had brought it about.” His biographer Michael Holroyd agreed: “Evangelism, liberalism, humanitarianism, education, imperialism–these were Strachey’s targets: and he struck them beautifully.” Cyril Connolly deemed it “the work of a great anarch, a revolutionary textbook on bourgeois society,” and it is reported that Bertrand Russell laughed out loud while reading Eminent Victorians during his imprisonment for antiwar activities.Strachey scored a triumphant success with his next biography, Queen Victoria (1921). Although he set out to reveal the mediocrity of Victoria’s character, critics agree that instead Strachey became totally enraptured by his subject. “Queen Victoria is an achievement of genius, and it has revolutionized the art of biography,” wrote E. M. Forster. “Strachey did what no biographer had done before: he managed to get inside his subject. Earlier biographers, like Macaulay and Carlyle, had produced fine and convincing pictures of people; Lytton Strachey makes his people move; they are alive, like characters in a novel. . . . A whole society and its inhabitants rise from the grave, and walk about. . . . Queen Victoria is a masterpiece.” Virginia Woolf agreed: “Victoria is a triumphant success. . . . In time to come Lytton Strachey’s Queen Victoria will be Queen Victoria, just as Boswell’s Johnson is now Dr. Johnson. The other versions will fade and disappear.”Strachey pushed the boundaries of biography still further in Elizabeth and Essex (1928). Sometimes considered a historical drama rather than a formal biography, it presents a compelling Freudian analysis of Queen Elizabeth. Though the book was attacked by many critics for its lurid portrayal of the monarch’s sexuality, Sigmund Freud praised Elizabeth and Essex in a letter to Strachey. “As a historian you show that you are steeped in the spirit of psychoanalysis,” he wrote. “You have approached one of the most remarkable figures in…
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