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women's studies
British history

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

Julia Baird.
Publisher Random House  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9781400069880
Pages/Publication Date 696/2016
Daedalus Item Code 69427
This item is not available.
The term "Victorian" has long conjured propriety and adherence to convention—yet the queen for whom the era was named was far from the staid, reserved monarch one would imagine, as journalist, broadcaster, and historian Julia Baird portrays her in this page-turning biography. Born with no expectation of inheriting the throne, at a time when popular revolt was threatening many of Europe's monarchies, Victoria defied her mother's meddling and forged a will of her own. At 18 she eagerly accepted the crown and relished the freedom it brought her, and at 20 she fell passionately in love with her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. The Victoria we meet loved sex and delighted in power; she remained outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries to assert her opinions, and after the death of Albert she began an intimate and quite controversial relationship with her Scottish servant John Brown. Victoria survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime, standing as a symbol of steadfastness and security in an era when technology, trade, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the globe. She commanded an empire that ultimately ruled a quarter of the world, yet Baird gives us the real Victoria, in a life shaped by love and heartbreak, devotion and grief, strength and resilience.

"A memorable, moving, and surprising portrait of one of the most important women in history. This is a remarkable book; in Baird's hands, Victoria's story resonates in our own time, shedding new light on why we live the way we do now."—Jon Meacham

"What was it like to reign over the world's greatest empire as queen—but in an age when women were supposed to be submissive, supportive, subservient? Baird does not shy away from reality or complexity. She has given us a moving, lusty, passionate, thoroughly human story of one of the most fascinating women of her, or any, time."—Evan Thomas

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