and she went her own way. Baroness Lehzen read Madame de Sévigné, Racine, and Corneille to her, and the Princess read Scott and Byron to herself. But her style of writing, like her character, was unbending and beyond influence. Intimacy with great stylists did not molest her gift for plain writing and her diaries at the age of eleven are like her letters to her ministers at the age of seventy: direct, unconfused statements, in clean-cut Anglo-Saxon, leaving no doubt of what was in her mind.
It was Baroness Lehzen, not the Duchess, who was nearest to the Princess, in thought and feeling. Princess Victoria was frightened of her mother, who once made her pin a sprig of holly to the neck of her dress, to force her to sit erect at the table. Of Baroness Lehzen she wrote that she "adored" her, but added that she was "greatly in awe of her" also.
The Princess once asked Baroness Lehzen why, when they were out walking, gentlemen raised their hats to her and "not to Feodora." The question had come at last and Baroness Lehzen did her best to answer it. * The scene between them became a legend, handed on from one Victorian biographer to the next, and Princess Victoria was credited with saying to the Baroness when she learned of her place in the succession,
"I will be good."The Queen passed this version of the incident in the manuscript of Theodore Martin's biography of the Prince Consort, but when in later life she was asked if this was true, she turned to one of her ladies 3 and answered,
"Of course not. How could I say such a thing?"
WHEN Prince Ernst was five years old and Albert four, they were taken from the nursery and given into the charge of Herr Florschütz, a gifted, sensitive scholar who became Prince Albert's friend for life. Prince Albert was "still so young and little" that he willingly allowed his tutor to carry him up and down stairs.1 Florschütz afterwards re____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Reign of Queen Victoria. Contributors: Hector Bolitho - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1948. Page number: 21.
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