16 November 2005
VICTORIA, Queen of England (1837-1901). Autograph letter signed ('V.R.I.') to ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, Windsor Castle, 8 July 1885, on mourning paper, 4 pages, 8vo, separate blank leaf, autograph envelope, seal ; and a transcript of the letter in Emily Tennyson's hand.
QUEEN VICTORIA BLAMES GLADSTONE FOR GENERAL GORDON'S DEATH, attributing it to 'the fatal mistake made by the late Gov[ernment] in Egypt & the Soudan - when they interfered & checked & stopped what was necessary & were always too late, thereby being the cause of the death of that noble Hero Gordon (whose abandonment is an eternal blot on our crown, though not on the nation)'. Victoria's well-known antipathy to Gladstone, whose administration had recently been defeated, encouraged her to hold him personally responsible for the tragedy.
The letter opens with a cordial invitation to the wedding of Princess Beatrice 'in our Village Church', listing her ten granddaughters who will be bridesmaids, and referring to Prince Henry (of Battenberg, the bridegroom) who 'has never been in the Field as he was too young'.
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