Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Victoria & Abdul: A True Story That's Stranger than Fiction

Queen Victoria was quite taken by her title of Empress of India. She was unable to visit India, so she brought India to England.

For her Golden Jubilee, several men from India were assigned to be her personal servants, including the twenty-four-year-old Abdul.

The lonely queen had lost her beloved Albert and her loyal servant John Brown. Queen Victoria fell in love with Abdul's stories about his exotic homeland of India. She formed a motherly attachment to Abdul, promoting him to her teacher.

During Queen Victoria's last ten years she studied Urdu under Abdul's guidance, becoming quite proficient. The Queen's dependence on her Munshi led to friction with her government and her family. Every power was pushing the Queen to abandon her interest in Abdul. Abdul was spied upon and defamed, but the Queen defended him and showered titles and gifts upon Abdul and his family.

Victoria & Abdul  is an enlightening biography of Queen Victoria between her Golden and Diamond Jubilees. It tells of the human side of the queen and of her profound attachment to those she loved. It is the story of a humble man who rose to become a queen's most trusted friend, only to be vilified and his history erased after her death. And it is the story of racism and religious prejudice in Victorian England.
Detail of handkerchief celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

The information is detailed and I felt I knew and understood Victoria and Abdul. There are wonderful photographs included.

This book is the basis for the upcoming movie Victoria & Abdul starring Judy Dench. I can't wait to see it!

View the trailer at https://youtu.be/3xo-EP_O5pQ

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Victoria & Abdul (Movie Tie-in)
The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant
by Shrabani Basu
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Paperback $16.00
ISBN 9780525434412

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