To many Queen Victoria was a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique, portrayed as an aging, stiff widow. But in truth Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was passionate, expressive, humorous, and unconventional.
A. N. Wilson’s exhaustively researched and definitive biography includes a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources, showing us Queen Victoria as she’s never been seen before. Wilson explores the circumstances that led to Victoria’s coronation, her isolated childhood, her passionate marriage to Prince Albert, and her widowhood, all set against the backdrop of this momentous epoch in world history.
"[A] splendid biography--this book is a gem: thoughtful, witty, insightful, striking a balance between political commentary and personal gossip.... As this terrific biography shows, there really was a human being behind the gloomy portraits." (Dominic Sandbrook, Evening Standard)
"Subtle, thoughtful...a shimmering and rather wonderful biography." (Kathryn Hughes, Guardian)
"Wilson is affectionately alert to the rich contradictions of his subject's personality, and his deliciously readable biography becomes increasingly fascinating as Victoria's reign unfolds." (Jane Shilling, Daily Mail Book of the Week)
"Wilson is an excellent history teacher. He orders and narrates the hugely complex socio-political events and party infighting of the 19th century with a rare clarity.... His own achievement, sustained by a lifetime's scholarly fascination with the Victorian era, is also in its way, awesome." (John Sutherland, Financial Times)
"A. N. Wilson has written a sympathetic but by no means hagiographic biography of her that will probably overturn many people's prejudiced conception of her.... Wilson's picture of her is a rounded one, with her vices and virtues." (Theodore Dalrymple, The Times)
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Ambitious biography - absorbing listen
Inspiring and edifying
- Kevin Viney