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The Victorian Royal Nursery attempts to shed more light on the nursery for the children of Queen Victoria. It examines the creation, organisation, and financing of the nursery, with a consideration of the most important individuals who looked after the Royal children, namely the medical staff, wet nurses, monthly nurses, permanent nurses, governesses and subgovernesses. The study is based mostly on the numerous unpublished documents from the Royal Archives at Windsor as well as the hitherto little-known or unknown sources like the journal of the royal accoucheur Dr Robert Ferguson or the diary of head-nurse Mrs Ann Thurston.
From the review of The Victorian Royal Nursery, 1840–1865:
This is an original and important research project […]. In The Victorian Royal Nursery Mr Misztal brings a scholarly, tightly-focussed approach to a part of the Victorian Royal Household which until now has only received passing references in the literature. This superb study gives a full, definitive account of a part of the life of Queen Victoria which has been largely neglected […].
No one has written in such detail about the royal nursery, and that in itself represents a vital contribution to royal scholarship. The new material which Misztal has discovered sheds new light on the Queen’s mental and emotional state after childbirth… This gives substance to Albert’s later fears about Victoria’s mental state and the rumours that she had inherited the madness of King George III. […] The footnotes are excellent and full of additional material [...].
This is an outstanding piece of research. It is a definitive account, and it will become indispensable.
Professor Jane Ridley, author of Bertie: A Life of Edward VII and Queen Victoria: A Short Life
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
I. THE PREGNANCIES AND CONFINEMENTS
1. 1840–1844: THE FIRST FOUR CHILDREN
2. 1846–1857: THE YOUNGER CHILDREN
II. THE ORGANISATION OF THE NURSERY
1. NURSERY RULES AND THE FIRST NURSERY SUPERINTENDENTS
2. THE CONFIDANTE: LOUISE LEHZEN
3. BARON STOCKMAR’S 1842 NURSERY MEMORANDUM
4. THE GOVERNESS: LADY LYTTELTON
5. LADY CAROLINE BARRINGTON AND THE SUB-GOVERNESSES
III. THE MEDICAL STAFF AND MONTHLY NURSES
1. PHYSICIANS AND APOTHECARIES
2. MONTHLY NURSES
IV. THE NURSERY STAFF
1. THE WET NURSES
2. THE PERMANENT NURSES AND NURSERY MAIDS
V. THE FINANCING OF THE NURSERY
NOTE ON THE VALUE OF THE POUND STERLING
1. MANUSCRIPT SOURCES
2. PUBLISHED SOURCES, BOOKS AND ARTICLES
3. UNPUBLISHED DISSERTATIONS
4. NEWSPAPERS CONSULTED
INDEX OF PERSONS