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Publisher Description

The much-admired, critically-praised and bestselling biography of Queen Victoria, from one of Australia's most admired and respected journalists and commentators, Julia Baird.
When Alexandrina Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 20 June 1837, she was 18 years old and barely five feet tall. Her subjects were fascinated and intrigued; some felt sorry for her. Writer Thomas Carlyle, watching her gilded coach draw away from the coronation, said: 'Poor little Queen, she is at an age at which a girl can hardly be trusted to choose a bonnet for herself; yet a task is laid upon her from which an archangel might shrink.' Queen Victoria is long dead, but in truth she has shaped us from the grave. She was a tiny, powerful woman who reigned for an astonishing 64 years. By the time of her Diamond Jubilee Procession in 1897, she reigned over a fourth of the inhabitable part of the world, had 400 million subjects, and had given birth to nine children. Suffrage, anti-poverty and anti-slavery movements can all be traced to her monumental reign, along with a profound rethinking of family life and the rise of religious doubt. When she died, in 1901, she was the longest reigning monarch in English history. Victoria is truly the woman who made the modern world.
A fascinating, provocative and authoritative new biography of Queen Victoria which will make us see her in a new light, from one of Australia's most admired and respected journalists and commentators, Julia Baird.

'Julia Baird's exquisitely wrought and meticulously researched biography brushes the dusty myth off this extraordinary monarch. Right out of the gate, the book thrums with authority as Baird builds her portrayal of Victoria. Overturning stereotypes, she rips this queen down to the studs and creates her anew.' The New York Times

Shortlisted for the 2017 ABIA Awards and the 2017 NSW Premiers History Awards, and longlisted for the 2017 Stella Awards and the 2017 Walkley Awards.

Biographies & Memoirs
1 November
HarperCollins Australia Pty Limited

Customer Reviews

Human Rayla ,


After becoming interested to learn more of VIctoria (and Albert) following the recent TV series, Julia Baird’s biography offered an excellent introduction to the subject. A big book that was easy reading, accessible history, bringing to life the characters of the age and the feeling of life at the time. Not staid facts and pedantic analysis, the author writes in a very easygoing way that is engaging and drives the narrative along. No easy task given the volume of material to go through. Episodic moments are focused on, compressing the 60 years of rule into an easily absorbing story. It has served as a good intro point into studying the subject further and highly recommened. So much of the modern era began in the 19th century of Victoria’s time so this is still relevant history and the story of people which resonates to this day. Fascinatnig read.

Postaltubealex ,

A stunningly personal insight into a well known figure

Julia Baird has written a masterpiece biography here. Incredibly rich with historical details, it never strays far from the fact the Victoria was a woman who experienced the same joys, devastations, urges and irks as the rest of us.

Highly readable, the book captures the change to the industrial age with great care.

Maursby ,

A Very Thorough Biography.

I really enjoyed this book. It is the most detailed, well-researched biography I have read about Queen Victoria. It really is disappointing so much of her journals and papers we censored. A really good read. Over 300 pages with another two hundred of sources, index etc.

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