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Read or Download Albert : A Life

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Read online or Download Albert : A Life by Jules Stewart


Albert: Prince Consort to Queen Victoria, social and cultural visionary in his own right, was born in the saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-saalfeld but defined the culture and direction of nineteenth-century Britain - a Great Power at the zenith of its influence - more than any other British royal or politician. though overshadowed in history by his adoring wife, and at times mocked by her subjects, it was arguably Albert who gave form and substance to the Victorian Age. From the outset, Albert strived to win 'the respect, the love and the confidence of the Queen and of the nation', pursuing an extraordinary social and cultural crusade that has become his greatest legacy. As Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, he used his position to successfully campaign for more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. His organisation of the 1851 Great exhibition exposed British manufacturing to the best foreign products - and raised a huge surplus which was later used to establish and expand educational and cultural institutions, including the great museums nicknamed 'Albertopolis' in London. He was also vocal in a number of social campaigns - speaking out against slavery and the Corn laws. His philanthropic endeavours - including the building of new and drastically improved housing for the poor - gained him immense popularity in his adopted country, so much so that he has been credited with saving Britain from the revolutionary fervour which swept Europe in 1848 and consequently preserving the British monarchy to the present day. Very few have made such a permanent mark on British society. If any one person can be credited for laying the foundation of modern Britain, it is Albert. Upon Albert's untimely death in 1861, Benjamin Disraeli declared: 'with Prince Albert we have buried our sovereign.' This is the story of Albert of Saxe-Coburg: Prince Consort and husband of Queen Victoria, the greatest of the Victorians and one of the most influential royals of modern Europe.

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