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A New Most Excellent Dancing Master

The Journal of Joseph Lowe’s Visits to Balmoral and Windsor (1852- 1860) to Teach Dance to the Family of Queen Victoria

Allan Thomas
1992

145 pp.

22 illustrations

ISBN: 978-0945193302

hardback $40.00


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In the mid-nineteenth century Joseph Lowe dancing master of Edinburgh taught at Queen Victoria's Court in autumn at Balmoral and Christmas time at Windsor. The Journal is an account of these visits-of Queen Victoria practicing her Scotch steps for the Reel of Princess Alice who danced a fetching Spanish solo of Prince Alfred who was talented on the violin of the Princess who turned her foot inwards while dancing of the spirited Lady-in-Waiting who begged for extra lessons of the children's chest expander exercises and of how many trout Mr. Lowe caught when he took the Prince of Wales fishing.

Concerts are held balls last far into the night; the musical and dance life of the court is glimpsed through a myriad of Lowe's comments (always discreet) and a cheerful family life is portrayed. After the Prince Consort's untimely death Mr. Lowe no longer attends the court. Archives at Windsor Castle reveal that two of his daughters continued to teach there for a decade but no journal of the period has been traced to the New Zealand family collection (mentioned above) which contains the original Lowe manuscript.

Allan Thomas: