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Pencil drawing of hand
image id: ps_cps_cd2_034

Queen Victoria (1819–1901)
Pencil drawing of hand, ca. 1830, with annotations (not Victoria’s)
NYPL, The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle

Victoria’s father died when she was an infant. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, followed (knowingly or not) two dicta of the influential Romantic philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in her parenting: she breast-fed Victoria herself, and raised her in isolation. However, the methods employed were more puritanical than Romantic: she encouraged her daughter’s conscience by having Victoria write reports on her own behavior. The princess’s lessons included drawing, for which she shows a marked talent in this picture.

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