September 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
Having recently read Yvonne Ward’s Censoring Queen Victoria (recommended below) I was somewhat prepared for A N Wilson’s revelatory biography of the woman he calls “one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived...” If you are used to thinking of Queen Victoria as a stiff, expressionless figurehead of a woman then be prepared to think again, here Queen Victoria’s life is revealed in stunning detail in this masterly biography that brings new light not just to the Queen but to C19 Britain.
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hen Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two, and the matriarch of Royal Europe, through the marriages of her children. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique - an aging, stiff widow, paraded as the figurehead to an all-male imperial enterprise. But in truth, Britain's longest reigning monarch was one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived, and the story of her life continues to fascinate. A. N. Wilson's exhaustively researched and definitive biography includes a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources, to show us Queen Victoria as she's never been seen before. It explores the curious set of circumstances that led to Victoria's coronation, her strange and isolated childhood, her passionate marriage, Prince Albert's pivotal influence, her widowhood and subsequent intimate friendship with John Brown, set against the backdrop of this momentous epoch in Britain - and Europe's - history. Victoria is a towering achievement; a masterpiece of biography by a writer at the height of his powers.
Wilson is one of our most readable writers whether as a novelist, biographer or historian, and here he has produced an excellent account of the life of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Victoria’s childhood was far from easy with her early life dominated by her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and the first night she spent alone was the night after she became Queen on the death of her ‘wicked uncle’ William IV. That was in 1837 when Victoria was still only eighteen years old. Within a few years she had married her German cousin Prince Albert, and by the time she was forty she had given birth to nine children. However, Victoria still had a role to play as Head of State, and Wilson interweaves that with the part she played as wife and mother, dealing with ten Prime Ministers and marrying her children into the Royal Houses of Europe.
Publication date: 04/09/2014
Publisher: Atlantic Books
|Publication date:||4th September 2014|
|Author:||A. N. Wilson|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, History,|
A.N. Wilson grew up in Staffordshire, where his father was Managing Director of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. He was educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is a prolific and award-winning biographer and celebrated novelist. His last novel Winnie and Wolf, was longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize. He lives in North London. Author photo © Magali DelporteMore About A. N. Wilson