Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy

Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy


By (author) Paul Thomas Murphy

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  • Publisher: Head of Zeus
  • Format: Hardback | 688 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 238mm x 54mm | 1,161g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1781851271
  • ISBN 13: 9781781851272
  • Sales rank: 842,578

Product description

During her long reign, Queen Victoria was the target of no fewer than eight assassination attempts. In seven of these cases her life was saved by poor marksmanship or misfiring weaponry, but one assailant managed to strike her with a finely wrought cane. Remarkably, all eight of her attackers lived to tell their tales, and were variously incarcerated in asylums, deported to Australia, or in a few cases eventually released into society again. Paul Thomas Murphy shows how these obscure would-be assassins effected a change in history. Their attacks on Victoria galvanised her to face them down by presenting a more public face than her forebears, thereby laying the groundwork for the monarchy as we know it today. SHOOTING VICTORIA opens up a new window onto Victorian England. In exploring contemporary attitudes to madness, crime and criminality, it reveals a wealth of little-known and often surprising aspects of 19th-century British society and monarchy.

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Author information

Paul Thomas Murphy teaches interdisciplinary writing on Victorian topics at the University of Colorado. He is working on several projects relating to the Victorian period.

Review quote

'An entertaining social history... Has as many strands as a Victorian novel, deserves a wide readership.' TLS. 'Beautifully researched and lucidly written ... an entertaining study' Sunday Times. 'A gripping, teeming, discursive pleasure. Shining a light on the 19th century and its indestructible queen.' Observer. '[A] fascinating book ... it is a testament to his talent that these 500 pages left me wanting more' Daily Express. 'A rollicking read' The Spectator. 'Full of curiosity and zest' Mail on Sunday. 'A rich, rollicking narrative ... enormously entertaining' Scotsman. 'Written with as much verve and spirit as the youthful queen herself, this fascinating investigation into the attempted assassinations is a superb exploration into 19th century construction of monarchy' BBC History. 'Part social panorama, part crime thriller, part psychological drama ... Superb' Robert Morrison.