Review: Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire, by Julia Baird. Random House Publishing Group.

This book offers a view of a woman most of us have heard of, and think we know about. Interest has been aroused in Victoria in recent years, perhaps because the current Elizabeth II has now served longer than Victoria did.


But Ms. Baird enlightens us early on, that Victoria’s story has been edited, suppressed, and censored by a number of means, most notably by the actions of Victoria herself. The facts about this royal lady were much muddied by efforts by Victoria and others to protect her memory. Many of her letters, diaries, and other materials were destroyed at Victoria’s own direction. What a pity!

The author has spent a good deal of time going to available original sources to discover the real story.


The author’s style is compelling, vivid with descriptive detail and historical perspective on the tale as it unfolds. This is a very worthy, eminently readable, and well-researched portrait of Victoria.


I apologize that I am late with this review. The publisher very kindly provided me with an advance copy; somehow I missed the publication date of November 22 by quite a bit. But I did want to express my appreciation and admiration for the book and the excellence of this author’s work.


The historical notes at the end are a valuable resource all by themselves.


My thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to read and review.

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