Queen Victoria had been an avid theater-goer even during her unhappy,
cloistered childhood. Her happy marriage to Prince Albert (also a great
lover of the performing arts) meant that they would together compile an
archive of programs as a legacy to the British people that still exists.
In the grief that followed her husband's death Queen Victoria became a
recluse, and was rarely seen in public... never again to enter a theater.
But that is not to say she lost all contact with the performing arts of the
day; having a palace with room to create its own theater gave her the opportunity
to bring productions into her own home. Few in the show business world of the day
would turn down a personal request from Queen Victoria for a private performance!
This book lists virtually every theatrical event in Victoria's life, often including
the remarks from her diary on her approval or disapproval. It even describes the home
theatricals put on by Victoria and Albert's children to celebrate birthdays and holidays.
The many photos taken of these family performances (and entries in her diary) show how
early the children were introduced to the performing arts, and even expected to take part.
It gives the reader a different view of the austere queen to read from her own diary that
very often (yes, quite often!) comedies would leave her in "fits of laughter."