Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
The Contentious Crown: Public Discussion of the British Monarchy in the Reign of Queen Victoria

The Contentious Crown: Public Discussion of the British Monarchy in the Reign of Queen Victoria

by Richard Williams


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First published in 1997, The Contentious Crown is a study of comment on the monarchy in Victorian newspapers, journals, pamphlets and parliamentary debates. It examines radical and republican criticism, reverence and sentimentality, perceptions of the Crown’s political role, the relationship between the monarchy and patriotism and attitudes to royal ceremonial.

Williams shows that discussion of the monarchy throughout the reign was of a far greater volume and complexity than has hitherto been realized. Two strands of discussion, one critical, one reverential, co-existed from Victoria’s accession to her death. Criticism was overwhelmed by reverence by the 1880s since the Crown’s most controversial features, especially its political influence and foreignness, were seen to have receded, allowing the monarchy and Royal Family to appear in their ceremonial, domestic and philanthropic roles as the ideal family and the figurehead of the nation and Empire.

The book gives a historical context to the current problems of the British monarchy by showing that controversy and debate are by no means novel and that the secure position achieved in the late nineteenth century was the product of circumstances which no longer exist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781859281062
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/01/1997
Series: Nineteenth Century Series
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard Williams has won more than 250 international awards for his animation. He currently lives in Wales.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. 2. Radical and Republican Criticism of the Monarchy, 1837-61. 3. The Rise and Fall of the British Republican Movement, 1861-1901. 4. Perceptions of Political Power and Partisanship, 1837-61. 5. Perceptions of Political Power and Partisanship, 1861-1901. 6. The Monarchy, Patriotism and Nationalism. 7. Reverence and Sentimentality towards the Monarchy and Royal Family. 8. Attitudes to Royal Ceremonial. 9. Conclusion.

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