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Library Happenings – New biography sheds light on Queen Victoria

By Angie Georgeff

We may not have any new episodes of “Downton Abbey” in which to revel this January, but fans will not be deprived of our indispensable yearly dose of British grandeur. “Victoria,” a new offering from PBS’s Masterpiece, has taken care of that. In spite of the numerous growing pains that accompanied the Industrial Revolution, the age that bears her name managed to balance wicked uncles, civil unrest, sewer rats and poverty with social mobility, scientific advances, philanthropic initiatives and glorious excess in architecture and interior design.

Since “British Monarchs” is one of my favorite Jeopardy! categories, I am fairly familiar with the queen’s story. If you are not, we have a timely new biography that will get you up to speed in no time. “Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire” by Julia Baird was released in November.

Alexandrina Victoria was born in 1819 to the fourth son of George III, the king who famously lost thirteen American colonies and his reason. The deaths of her father, three uncles and a cousin brought her to the throne at the age of eighteen. She wore the crown until her death in 1901, and was only surpassed as the longest–reigning British monarch by her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II on Sept. 9, 2015. Victoria and her consort Albert had nine children who married into the royal and noble families of Europe to the extent that she became known as the grandmother of Europe. Ms. Baird did not suffer from a shortage of material!

Outreach Program

As many of you already know, we offer deliveries of library materials to homebound senior citizens and nursing home residents. Most of these patrons receive items from our permanent collection, but others need materials that they can keep. Some require lightweight items like magazines, while others are nervous about having books that will need to be returned to the library. We do not charge these patrons for lost books or late fees, but some still worry, especially those who live in a congregate setting. If you have books, magazines or devotional materials in a large print format that you would like to donate for this program, we would be grateful.

New Materials

Good news! We recently have acquired a number of new large print books, audiobooks and books for children and teens. We currently are engaged in cataloging and processing these items. Because of space restrictions, the audiobooks are being integrated into that collection.  However, a list of the new titles has been posted on the side of the first bookcase for your convenience. Our other acquisitions can be found in the “new books” section of each department. Be sure to look for them!