The Life of His Royal Highness, the Prince Consort

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A lawyer by profession, Theodore Martin (1816-1909) gained literary distinction as both a humorous essayist and versatile translator. He found his greatest success, however, in the role of biographer to Prince Albert (1819-61). Commissioned by Queen Victoria to memorialise her late husband, this five-volume work was first published between 1875 and 1880. Intended as a continuation of the biography begun by Charles Grey (also reissued in this series), it has been described as 'less adulatory in tone than might be expected'. A treasury of letters and memoranda, it presents a detailed portrait of the character, words and deeds of a man whose life was necessarily immersed in the great events of his time. Volume 4 deals with the difficult period of 1856-9, which saw mutiny in India, worldwide commercial uncertainty, and the beginning of a decline in Albert's health.