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Queen Victoria
Lytton Strachey

Page 1 of 377


QUEEN VICTORIA 

CHAPTER I.  ANTECEDENTS 

On November 6, 1817, died the Princess Charlotte, only child of the Prince
Regent, and heir to the crown of England.  Her short life had hardly been a
happy one.  By nature impulsive, capricious, and vehement, she had always
longed for liberty; and she had never possessed it.  She had been brought up
among violent family quarrels, had been early separated from her disreputable
and eccentric mother, and handed over to the care of her disreputable and
selfish father.  When she was seventeen, he decided to marry her off to the
Prince of Orange; she, at first, acquiesced; but, suddenly falling in love
with Prince Augustus of Prussia, she determined to break off the engagement.
This was not her first love affair, for she had previously carried on a
clandestine correspondence with a Captain Hess.  Prince Augustus was already
married, morganatically, but she did not know it, and he did not tell her.
While she was spinning out the negotiations with the Prince of Orange, the

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