EPILOGUE: VICTORIA AMAZONICA

Army and Navy shall lead the way
For that wonderful coach of the Queen today
Kings and Princes and Lords of the land
Shall ride behind her, a humble band;
And over the city and over the world
Shall the flags of all nations be half-mast furled
For the silent lady of royal birth
Who is riding away from the courts of the earth
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

By the end of her sixty-three year reign, Victoria's legend joined other legendary women whose stories were often disseminated in popular compendia of the ten best of a category. Her sexual passion singled her out as one the world's famous lovers, comparable to Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, and George Sand.1 As "founder of the Victorian age," and with such religious luminaries as "the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, The great Queen Hatshepsut, foster mother of Moses, Saint Teresa, reformer of the Carmelites, and Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science," she approached canonization in Women Who Influenced the World.2 She qualified as one of ten girls from history with Joan of Arc, Jenny Lind, and Cofachiqui, an Indian princess.3 A contemporary history of the first Opium War (1840–1842), in which the Treaty of Nanking ceded Hong Kong to England, concludes: "China has been conquered by a Woman."4

That last sentence could not have meaning in reference to a king. Victoria's womanhood allied her with the mythical Amazons on the one hand and with allegorical personifications on the other. Powerful beyond human possibility, her presence reminded the less reverential—such writers as Rudyard Kipling and Wilfrid Scawan Blunt, for instance—of the carnage performed in her name. No simple synec

-211-

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Queen Victoria's Secrets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chronology xiii
  • Queen Victoria's Secrets xxi
  • 1: Elements of Power 1
  • 2: Genealogies in Her Closet 23
  • 3: Dressing the Body Politic 55
  • 4: Imperialtears 79
  • 5: Queen of a Certain Age 104
  • 6: Domesticity; Or, Her Life as a Dog 127
  • 7: Petticoat Rule; Or, Victoria in Furs 156
  • 8: Motherhood Excess, and Empire 187
  • Epilogue: Victoria Amazonica 211
  • Notes 223
  • Works Cited 237
  • Index 247
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