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Queen Victoria.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Chatto & Windus, 1921

Stock Code: 130466

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition, first impression. A superb presentation copy from the author to his unrequited love Ralph Partridge, inscribed on the front free endpaper: "Ralph from Lytton". Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge had a platonic, and possibly sexual, relationship, but the love was not returned on the latter's part. Strachey acted as a patron of Partridge, repeatedly saving him from financial ruin, and it was he who rechristened him from Reginald to Ralph in their Oxford days. Strachey's intense love for Partridge was not reciprocated, and Partridge instead married Strachey's housemate and caretaker Dora Carrington in 1921. Strachey confessed to Carrington that the marriage left him "dreadfully helpless" (cited in Julie Anne Taddeo, Lytton Strachey and the Search for Modern Sexual Identity, pp. 41-2), yet still invited the pair to live with him in his new country house, Ham Spray, in 1924, which they accepted. In 1932 Strachey died, which drove Carrington, who had always loved him, to despair and suicide. Partridge inherited Ham Spray, and married his long-time lover Frances Marshall (afterwards Frances Partridge) the next year.
Strachey's biography of Queen Victoria followed his popular and iconoclastic Eminent Victorians, published in 1918. "For his next biography, Strachey chose the most eminent Victorian of all. Queen Victoria (1921) has no preface; it is milder in tone and point of view but Strachey still plays on the ironic incongruities of Victoria's personality and position as he organizes her life around the insensitive vitality of her relationships with her mother, governess, and husband, and the remarkable prime ministers who had to cope with her. Strachey continues to use some techniques of fiction in his narrative - in Victoria's famous dying reverie, for example - but this time he also footnoted the sources of his information. Those whom Strachey had shocked with Eminent Victorians received Queen Victoria with relief" (ODNB).

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Octavo. Original blue cloth, printed paper label to spine. With the dust jacket.


Frontispiece and 5 black and white plates.


Rear cover lightly marked, front free endpaper a little creased, faint foxing to initial leaves. A very good copy in the rare dust jacket, spine panel darkened, chipped and torn, long split to rear flap fold.


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