Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire
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Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire


From International New York Times columnist Julia Baird comes a biography of Queen Victoria. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, Victoria: The Queen is a new portrait of the real woman behind the myth—a story of love and heartbreak, of devotion and grief, of strength and resilience.

When Victoria was born, in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would begin to threaten many of Europe’s monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the public’s 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. Born into a world where woman 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 mother’s meddling and an adviser’s 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 years old, 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 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 security—queen of a quarter of the world’s population at the height of the British Empire’s reach.

Drawing on sources that include revelations about Victoria’s relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings to life the 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
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:752 pages

    Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire Reviews

  • Matt
    Apr 18, 2017

    As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday, I felt it high time to look back and explore the life and times of our first monarch, Queen Victoria. Much of the country was either shaped or influ...

  • Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
    Jan 09, 2017

    4.5 stars. Things I learnt from this book:- Queen Victoria was THIRSTY. Like...T.H.I.R.S.T.Y. Homegirl reeeeeeeeally wanted the D. Her main concern when told that she should stop having children was b...

  • DeB MaRtEnS
    Jul 25, 2016

    Queen Victoria's story has been well defined in this fascinating, well-rounded and researched biography by Julia Baird. Victoria Regina Imperatrix was the petite queen whose feet did not reach the bot...

  • Ashley Brooks
    Jan 07, 2017

    For me it's usually a gamble with long, historical biographies on whether or not they'll be dense and dull. Victoria: The Queen was definitely the opposite. Baird wrote an engaging, well researched an...

  • Book Riot Community
    Jan 06, 2017

    It’s not often I’m able to read a nonfiction book in one sitting, much less a historical biography, but that’s just what happened with Julia Baird’s new biography of Queen Victoria. Baird writ...

  • Sam
    Nov 29, 2016

    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...

  • Steven Z.
    Feb 01, 2017

    The current airing of PBS’ Masterpiece Theater of VICTORIA and its popularity has created great interest in the British monarch who ruled her kingdom and the world’s largest empire between her acc...

  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    Nov 30, 2016

    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...

  • Sarah
    Jun 06, 2016

    A big thank you to Random House & NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review!The publication of a new biography of Queen Victoria is very timely, considering th...

  • Michael Livingston
    Mar 29, 2017

    Maybe 3.5To be honest, I'd never have picked up a ~800 page bio of Queen Victoria if it hadn't made the Stella Prize longlist. Am I glad that I did? I'm not sure. It's eminently readable and meticulou...

About Julia Baird

Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster and author based in Sydney, Australia. She hosts The Drum on ABCTV and writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and the International New York Times. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Guardian, the Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun-Herald, The Monthly and Harper’s Bazaar.