Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/1089

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sional tours, her studies, which included various branches of the arts, drawing and painting, as well as music and singing, were directed by her own tastes and the counsels of her mother. She made her first appearance in London at the Opera-house in 1839, in the character of Desdemona. Her voice, like that of her sister, combined the twofold register of soprano and contralto, embracing a compass of three octaves. At the close of the season she joined the Italian operatic company, then acting at the Odéon, in Paris, and was equally successful. In April, 1840, she was married to M. Louis Viardot, Director of the Paris Italian Opera (who died in May, 1883), and in 1841 she reappeared in England, singing with Mario in Cimarosa's opera "Gli Orazi e Curiazi." Her next engagement was at Vienna; and Rubini, on forming an operatic corps for St. Petersburg, selected her for his prima donna. She afterwards appeared at Berlin, and when Jenny Lind quitted the German Opera, Madame Viardot-Garcia proved herself an able successor in the répertoire, which she greatly extended. Her name is associated with the first performances of "Les Huguenots," in which she took the part of Valentine, and of "Le Prophète," in which she performed the part of Fides, an exquisite impersonation. From the catalogue of Madame Viardot's vocal triumphs must not be omitted her Spanish songs, second only in their thrilling effect to that produced by the national melodies of the great Swedish songstress, Jenny Lind. For some years Madame Viardot has not accepted any engagements in opera, though she has often appeared at concerts, more particularly those given for charitable purposes.

VICTORIA - ALEXANDRINA (Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India), only child of the late Duke of Kent and of the Princess Louisa-Victoria of Saxe-Coburg (relict of the Hereditary Prince of Leiningen, and sister of Leopold, Prince of Saxe-Coburg, afterwards King of the Belgians), was born at Kensington Palace, May 24, 1819; her parents, who had been for sometime residing abroad, having hastened to England, in order that their child might "be born a Briton." The Duke of Kent died Jan. 23, 1820, and the general education of the young Princess was directed, under her mother's care, by the Duchess of Northumberland, wife of the third Duke. Until within a few weeks of her elevation to the throne her life was spent in comparative retirement, varied by tours through different parts of the United Kingdom. Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle, William IV., June 20, 1837, as Victoria I., and her coronation was celebrated in Westminster Abbey, June 28, 1838. Her Majesty was married, Feb. 10, 1840, to his late Royal Highness Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, by whom she had issue: 1. H.R.H. Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, Princess-Royal, born Nov. 21, 1840, married Jan. 25, 1858, to H.R.H. the Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia; 2. H.R.H. Albert Edward. Prince of Wales, born Nov. 9, 1841, married March 10, 1863, the Princess Alexandra of Denmark; 3. H.R.H. Princess Alice Maud Mary, born April 15, 1843, married July 1, 1862, to Prince Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt (she died Dec. 14, 1878); 4. H.R.H. Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, born Aug. 6, 1844, created Duke of Edinburgh, May 24, 1866, married Jan. 23, 1874, the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, only daughter of the Emperor of Russia; 5. H.R.H. Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, born May 26, 1846, married July 5, 1866, to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; 6. H.R.H. Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, born March 18, 1848. married to the Marquis of Lorne, March