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Ask Sir James: The Life of Sire James Reid, Personal Physician

In a dark cupboard of her house, Michaela Reid, the granddaughter-in-law of Sir James Reid, discovered forty pocket diaries and thirty-one of his large scrapbooks, as well as some two hundred letters and notes from Queen Victoria. Although Sir James was never allowed to see the queen undressed, she summoned him four or five times a day, and he quickly became her confidant, privy to all the intimate aspects of her court and family life. It was he who was responsible for persuading Princess Christian to give up her opium addiction, as well as coping with John Brown's alcoholism. The doctor's memoirs have left us a vivid portrait of the queen, who was eccentric and stubborn, and yet at the same time perceptive, endearing and warm-hearted.

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