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Queen Victoria's journals go online

Categories: Books


Attention royal watchers and history buffs. The Queen has put Queen Victoria's journals online, pressing a button Thursday to bring her great-great-grandmother into the internet age. Queen Elizabeth herself wrote the introduction.

Queen Victoria was Britain's longest-serving monarch, reigning from 1837 to 1901, and a faithful diarist, recording more than 40,000 pages. The volumes have been in the Royal Archives since her death, accessible only to scholars and to her own daughter Beatrice, who transcribed some of them.

The online service is the beginning of a project by the Royal Archives, in association with the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford, to put its holdings online. Queen Victoria's handwritten pages were scanned for the project, making deciphering the minutia of her life - from political encounters to who came to dinner - a painstaking process. The story is enriched with Victoria's own pen and ink sketches, of her children, including two-year-old Albert Edward and of people she met on her travels - from a Belgian nun to an Ojibway Indian.

There are several references to a vexacious colony, including a Dec. 22, 1837 entry that refers to the Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada.

"The news are, I grieve to say, very bad from Canada; that is to say rumours and reports by the Papers, though we have no Official Reports. But Lord Melbourne (Britain's then prime minister) hopes it may not be so bad as it is rumoured. There certainly is open Rebellion."

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