When Victoria was born, in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would threaten many of Europes monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the publics expense, and republican sentiment was growing. The Industrial Revolution was transforming the landscape, and the British Empire was commanding ever larger tracts of the globe. In a world where women were often powerless, during a century roiling with change, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand.Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. As a girl, she defied her mothers meddling and an advisers bullying, forging an iron will of her own. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown and relished the freedom it brought her. At twenty, she fell passionately in love with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. After the death of her adored Albert, she began a controversial, intimate relationship with her servant John Brown. She survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and securityqueen of a quarter of the worlds population at the height of the British Empires reach.Drawing on sources that include fresh revelations about Victorias relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, losing parents, combating anxiety and self-doubt, finding an identity, searching for meaning....
|Title||:||Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||770 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Victoria » Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire|
Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire Reviews
I received a print ARC of this book through the Amazon Vine Voices program.
I received an e-ARC of this book through NetGalley and Random House Publishing.
I have read many biographies of the life of Queen Victoria. What sets this one apart from all the others for me is the sense of intimacy Julia Baird has created between the subject and the reader. Some biographers seem to set out to only reveal the best sides of Victoria, some go in the opposite direction and focus on the negative aspects of he ...more
Julia Baird undertook an enormous task in researching and writing this extensive and highly detailed biography of England's second-longest ruling monarch. Queen Victoria's long reign was just eclipsed last year by her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II.
Baird masterfully mixes stories of Queen Victoria's family life, relationships, political ambitions, failures, and triumphs. We learn the details of how Britain's system of government works, as the author explains how the Queen negotiat ...more
Overall, Victoria: The Queen is very well researched and has a flowing narrative style that makes it easy to engage with. We are treated to Victoria's own life chronologically, from an infant fifth in line to the throne to a passionate teenager thrust into rule, from the swooning love and contentment of her marriage to Albert, to her consuming grief and seclusion after his death, from the Widow of Windsor to her reemergence in politics and foreign policy. Above all, Julia Baird is able to refute ...more
‘Few would have bet Victoria would become queen of the British Isles.’
Sub-titled an intimate biography of the woman who ruled an empire, this book seeks to portray the person of Victoria behind the myth that has arisen since her death. Myth? Many of Queen Victoria’s papers were destroyed or censored after her death, to preserve a particular image of her. In preparing this biography, Ms Baird has had access to previously unpublished papers. In a general note, at the end of the book Ms Baird state ...more
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
It's no joke that I'm an Anglophile and huge fan of the current royal family. I love reading about royal families because they're quirky and sometimes downright crazy, but I find myself most intrigued by the British royal family, and Queen Victoria is one of my favorite queens to read about.
I've read a handful of small biographies about her life but each time, I learn something about her that I didn't know before and this was no exception. I haven't read all biographies ...more
Regnant queens have long fascinated me. This biography of Queen Victoria examines her specifically as a woman in power at a time when women were considered unsuited to hold political power. I had to laugh at a couple of the author's assumptions (Albert is said to have "a long-standing plan to rule England" which I thought was a hilarious overstatement - in her recovery of Alfred the Man from Alfred the Posthumously Deified, Baird seems keen to make him seem more sinister than he actually was), b ...more
Another biography of Queen Victoria. It’s very good, but can there be anything new to say?
This book has the agenda of dispelling the “myth” that Victoria “stopped ruling when Albert died, and that she had abdicated almost all of her authority and power to her clever husband when he was alive.” The author asserts that “Queen Victoria was a decisive ruler who complained of the weight of her work while simultaneously bossing prime ministers about daily, if not hourly.”
Most biographies focus on her ...more
I'm not usually a reader of biographies, but I LOVED this. Baird makes the story of Queen Victoria's life as engrossing and dramatic as a Bronte novel--whether Victoria is fawning over Albert's "delicate mustachios" or feuding with her nemesis Sir William Gladstone, she is revealed as a complex, entirely strange, yet compelling character who just so happened to rule an empire for over sixty years. Though she disapproved of women's suffrage and thought women the weaker sex, Queen Victoria's reign ...more