Treasures of the Library

The Principal Speeches and Addresses of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort

The Principal Speeches and Addresses of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort was published in 1862 after the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.

The speeches presented in this book were delivered in various institutions, including Trinity House, the National Gallery at Edinburgh and the Royal Academy. A lengthy introduction by Arthur Helps, Clerk of Queen Victoria’s Privy Council, praises the Prince Consort’s speeches as unique. He emphasizes the Prince’s ability to share his views on various subjects, despite the reserve he had to show because of his royal rank and responsibilities. Showing great respect for his audience, the Prince Consort gave speeches that aimed to bring something useful to his compatriots.

Presented to the Library in 1864, this book is one of the most significant and valuable in the Library’s rare book collection; it is signed and dedicated by Queen Victoria and bears the inscription “Presented to The Library of Parliament, Canada, in memory of Her great and good Husband by His broken hearted Widow. Victoria R. 1864.” The Queen made similar dedications to other libraries in the British colonies with a view to promoting knowledge in her colonial possessions.

The Library of Parliament has two copies of this book: the original, published in 1862, and a second copy, produced by staff in the Library’s preservation lab. This facsimile was created so that it could be displayed, as the original is sensitive to light and can discolour. The original is stored in an acid-free, custom-made box in the Rare Book Room, where temperature, humidity, light levels and access are controlled.

 

Details

  • Dimensions: 22 cm x 14 cm x 3 cm
  • Contents: 268 pages
  • The book contains inscriptions in iron gall ink, a metal-based ink. Due to its high iron content, this ink is very sensitive to light.
  • The binding is made of leather with gold gilding.

 

Side by side - The original book published in 1862 and the facsimile produced by staff in the Library’s preservation lab
Side by side - The original book published in 1862 and the facsimile produced by staff in the Library’s preservation lab
Dedication by Queen Victoria: “Presented to The Library of Parliament, Canada, in memory of Her great and good Husband by His broken hearted Widow. Victoria R. 1864.”
Dedication by Queen Victoria: “Presented to The Library of Parliament, Canada, in memory of Her great and good Husband by His broken hearted Widow. Victoria R. 1864.”
Edge-Gilding
Edge-Gilding