Due to unplanned maintenance of the back-end systems supporting article purchase on Cambridge Core, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend article purchase for the foreseeable future. We apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we work with the relevant teams to restore this service.
At various moments during her long rule, Queen Victoria (r. 1837–1901) made clear that she was no fan of women’s rights. In a letter written in 1852 to her Uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians, the queen – then in the throes of motherhood – observed that her husband Albert “grows daily fonder and fonder of politics and business, and is wonderfully fit for both – showing such perspicuity and such courage – and I grow daily to dislike them both more and more. We women are not made for governing: and, if we are good women, we must dislike these masculine occupations!” In 1870, faced with the prospect of a women’s franchise bill passing in Parliament, the now-widowed queen engaged in a lengthy correspondence with Prime Minister William Gladstone, in which she registered her “strongest aversion for the socalled & most erroneous ‘Rights of Woman