Chronicles the life and times of Queen Victoria from her childhood to her early rise to power and the first turbulent years of her rule. Her romantic relationship and eventual marriage to Prince Albert culminates in a royal power struggle which ultimately is the key to her happiness when she comes to the realization that he is someone she can fully trust and believe in.
When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsawâand the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitantsâotters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes. With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.