Shooting Victoria

Shooting Victoria

Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy

Book - 2012
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During Queen Victoria's 64-year reign, no fewer than eight attempts were made on her life. Murphy follows each would-be assassin and the repercussions of their actions, illuminating daily life in Victorian England, the development of the monarchy under Queen Victoria and the evolution of the attacks in light of evolving social issues and technology.There was Edward Oxford, a bartender who dreamed of becoming an admiral, who was simply shocked when his attempt to shoot the pregnant Queen and Prince consort made him a madman in the world's eyes. There was hunchbacked John Bean, who dreamed of historical notoriety in a publicized treason trial, and William Hamilton, forever scarred by the ravages of the Irish Potato Famine. Roderick MacLean enabled Victoria to successfully strike insanity pleas from Britain's legal process. Most threatening of all were the "dynamitards" who targeted her Majesty's Golden Jubilee--who signaled the advent of modern terrorism with their publicly focused attack.From these cloak-and-dagger plots to Victoria's brilliant wit and steadfast courage, Shooting Victoria is historical narrative at its most thrilling, complete with astute insight into how these attacks actually revitalized the British crown at a time when monarchy was quickly becoming unpopular abroad. While thrones across Europe toppled, the Queen's would-be assassins contributed greatly to the preservation of the monarchy and to the stability that it enjoys today. After all, as Victoria herself noted, "It is worth being shot at--to see how much one is loved."
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books : Distributed in the U.S. by W.W. Norton & Co., c2012.
ISBN: 9781605983547
Characteristics: xi, 669 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.

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CraigRuane
Jul 29, 2015

An interesting but ultimately unsatisfying book. The style (breezy) is at odds with the topic. Murphy views the 19th century, and Britain's monarchy, through 21st century eyes. What was most annoying though was the use of Clayton's end notes. The end notes that aren't referenced in the text, and in the notes themselves are only referenced by a page number. If you are going to go to the bother of including notes, DO IT PROPERLY.

This seems to be the fashion in US published semi academic works.

ChristchurchLib Dec 04, 2014

Queen Victoria inherited a crown that had been thoroughly tarnished by her predecessors' incompetence and immorality, but by the time of her death 64 years later, the monarchy was almost universally adored. Author Paul Murphy believes that seven attempts to assassinate Victoria boosted the queen's popularity with her subjects and helped her to strengthen the monarchy. Shooting Victoria focuses on the men who tried to kill her, their motives, and their convictions and punishments. It also details changes in criminal law and police administration while describing Victoria's relationships with her prime ministers. This intriguing approach to Victoria's life and times (a New York Times Notable Book for 2012) will please readers who enjoyed Helen Rappaport's A Magnificent Obsession. History and Current Events November 2014 newsletter.

ChristchurchLib Dec 04, 2014

Queen Victoria inherited a crown that had been thoroughly tarnished by her predecessors' incompetence and immorality, but by the time of her death 64 years later, the monarchy was almost universally adored. Author Paul Murphy believes that seven attempts to assassinate Victoria boosted the queen's popularity with her subjects and helped her to strengthen the monarchy. Shooting Victoria focuses on the men who tried to kill her, their motives, and their convictions and punishments. It also details changes in criminal law and police administration while describing Victoria's relationships with her prime ministers. This intriguing approach to Victoria's life and times (a New York Times Notable Book for 2012) will please readers who enjoyed Helen Rappaport's A Magnificent Obsession. History and Current Events November 2014 newsletter.

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