Signed by Queen Victoria.
GREY, Lieut-General The Hon C. The Early Years of His Royal Highness The Prince Consort. london: Smith, Elder and Co., 1867.
8vo. Original brown cloth, gilt 'VA' monograms with gilt fillets to sides, gilt lettering to spine, bevelled edges; pp. xxxi + [i] + 469, frontispiece portrait of Prince Albert, another portrait plate; spine sunned, a little rubbing to fillet on front board, internally very clean, very good. Provenance: flyleaf inscribed by Queen Victoria "To/ Dr. Lyon Playfair CB/ in recollection [?]/ of his great master./from/ Victoria Reg./ Osborne/ Aug 1867". Lyon Playfair (1818-1898), later 1st Baron Playfair, was a chemist and Liberal politician who became Gentleman Usher to Prince Albert and worked with the Prince Consort on the committee of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was for this work, and his close relationship with the Prince, that he was ennobled. This book then passed to his son, the 2nd Baron, who wrote a manuscript note opposite the Queen's inscription: "For some reason the Queen always called my father 'Dr' he never was a Dr & knew nothing about medicine./ Playfair/ 12th June 1936." This is most unfair to both the Queen and his father, as Lyon Playfair had a PhD in chemistry and had thoroughly earned his title. Beneath the 2nd Baron's inscription is a short pencil note "The author of the above was my godfather. G.G.I.B." - these are the initials of G.G.I. Barker, whose bookplate is attached to the front pastedown. Also included is a manuscript letter in envelope written by a daughter of the 2nd Baron on an unrelated subject.
Initially printed for private circulation, this memorial to Prince Albert became a popular publication which ran to many editions. It is made up primarily of extracts from letters compiled with accompanying narrative by Charles Grey, the Private Secretary to the Prince and later to the Queen.