Queen Victoria: A Personal History

Queen Victoria: A Personal History

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Christopher Hibbert

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 576 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 38mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 3 September 2002
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0006388434
  • ISBN 13: 9780006388432
  • Illustrations note: 16 b/w, 16 col plates (32pp)
  • Sales rank: 89,607

Product description

Christopher Hibbert's acclaimed biography of Queen Victoria is as impressive and authoritative as the great woman herself. In 1837 an eighteen-year-old girl, raised by a German mother, inherited the throne of the United Kingdom. She was to reign as queen - and later Empress of India - for almost sixty-four years, presiding over twenty prime ministers and a period of unprecedented social and political change. Her era became synonymous with moral rigidity and colonial expansion, and this absorbing biography of Queen Victoria, the unlikely figurehead of a vast and powerful empire, explores how the young monarch transformed herself into a formidable matriarch and the epitome of an age. Embracing her life and family, her politics and personality, her love for Prince Albert and her relationship with John Brown, Hibbert's touching biography is a persuasive portrait of a remarkable woman.

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Author information

Christopher Hibbert was educated at Radley and Oriel College, Oxford. He served as an infantry officer during the war, was twice wounded and was awarded the MC in 1945. His books include 'The Destruction of Lord Raglan' (which won the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962), 'The English: A Social History', 'Cavaliers and Roundheads' and 'The Great Mutiny: India, 1857'. He also wrote biographies of Elizabeth I, George III, George IV, Nelson, Wellington and Samuel Johnson. He died in 2008.

Customer reviews

By Cel McC 30 Nov 2010 5

A lovely biography covering the queen's birth right through to her death. An intimate account of her delights and her despairs. An engaging bedtime book.

Review quote

'This book is, I think, his masterpiece...he has portrayed her as physically and imaginatively passionate, a loveable monster who, for all her extreme oddness, came to embody the aspirations and character not only of a nation, but of an Empire which embraced half the globe.' A. N. Wilson, Daily Mail 'A splendid book in every respect.' Simon Heffer, Country Life '[Hibbert] succeeds in weaving a vast tangle of sources into a driving story. It is a testimony to his skill that he manages to make his 557-page book feel, If anything, a tad too short... it meticulously fleshes out the little butterball of a woman who came to dominate not only her own time, but ours as well.' Kathryn Hughes, Daily Telegraph 'Full of scholarly references and splendidly produced.' Robert Blake, Sunday Telegraph 'A deliciously gossipy but thoughtful biography...an exceptional portrait of a homely, formidably strong-willed woman who used her power both admirably and abominably.' Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times 'A lively, episodic account of a remarkable woman's life...particularly strong on the stifling dullness of court life, Victoria's extraordinary relations with her Scottish and Indian servants, and her absolute domination of her children.' Evening Standard 'An unrivalled portrait of a marriage...she emerges from his compelling narrative a more real, complex and fascinating figure than ever before.' Financial Times 'This personal history provides as much food for thought as it does narrative energy and excitement.' Scotsman

Editorial reviews

Hibbert, author of several distinguished biographies and histories, now turns his attentions to Queen Victoria whose reign spanned the years 1837-1901. Such a subject demands a comprehensive study and this one does not disappoint, incorporating lengthy extracts from the queen's own journals in order to balance the narrative appraisal. Victoria was a dedicated diarist and her regular jottings are useful in providing an informative portrait of her long and influential reign, which witnessed enormous changes, from the advent of the railway to the birth of the motor car. Hibbert's is a scholarly, exhaustive account of a remarkable monarch, tracing the course of her reign from the early days when she ascended the throne as a girl of 18 through the happy days of her marriage to Prince Albert and finally to the last decades of her life when she consolidated her earlier triumphs. Showing signs of scrupulous research, every aspect of Victoria's life comes under minute scrutiny here, and whilst sometimes a little more elan in such a volume would be welcome, this remains an admirably thorough biography. (Kirkus UK)