America’s fascination with Queen Victoria explained this Friday, November 2nd PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Angela Hunt   
Tuesday, 30 October 2007 16:53
ImageQueen Victoria never crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and yet no woman came to be better known in the "Victorian" United States. In a free presentation this Friday, November 2nd at 7 p.m. at Butterworth Center, expert Dr. Walter Arnstein focuses on an unexplored subject: Why did the granddaughter of King George III, the quintessential "tyrant" of 19th century American textbooks, become a heroine in the eyes of most Americans and the object of the most elaborate funeral ceremonial ever devoted to a foreigner? ImageThis presentation titled, “Queen Victoria in America’s Eyes,” is part of the "Evenings at Butterworth Center" series and includes an assortment of free refreshments, tea and coffee following the program. The program is made possible by the Illinois Humanities Council Board of Directors and the Butterworth Trust. Modern day fascination Widespread fascination with Queen Victoria continued into modern times, with the release of a major motion picture in 1997, “Mrs. Brown.” The movie picks up after Queen Victoria’s husband dies of typhoid fever at only 42 years of age. The plot focuses on what some considered a scandalous relationship that grew thereafter with her servant John Brown. (View review and trailer: About Queen Victoria Born in 1819 as Alexandrina Victoria, Victoria was formerly addressed as “Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Kent” but called “Drina” by family members. As a child, she studied many languages including English, Chinese, French, German, Greek, and Italian. She was also taught arithmetic, music and history. At the age of 16, she met her future husband, who was also her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Four years later, in 1840, they were married. They had nine children. In 1861, at the age of 42, Prince Albert died of typhoid fever. During the years after his death, Queen Victoria made fewer public appearances, although she remained active in her childrens’ lives, four of whom married within a decade after their father died. Queen Victoria was known as the “Grandmother of Europe” considering that most of her children married into royalty. Queen Victoria ruled for from (1837-1901) About the Presenter Walter L. Arnstein holds a PhD in History from Northwestern University, and has spent forty-one years teaching British History, US History, and Western Civilization at universities throughout Illinois. He has held fellowships at Cambridge University and the University of Edinburgh. He is the author or editor of seven books, and in the course of his distinguished career, he has spoken at numerous institutions and conferences, both academic and popular. Walter has also served on the Illinois Humanities Council Board of Directors. Butterworth Center is located at 1105-8 th Street, Moline, Illinois. For more information contact Gretchen Small at (309) 765-7971 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To learn more about our “Evenings at Butterworth Center” series visit us at
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