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Queen Victoria: A Life of Contradictions

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Queen Victoria is Britain's queen of contradictions. In her combination of deep sentimentality and bombast; cultural imperialism and imperial compassion; fear of intellectualism and excitement at technology; romanticism and prudishness, she became a spirit of the age to which she gave her name.

Victoria embraced photography, railway travel and modern art; she resisted compu
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published August 15th 2013)
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Amy Davies
Short but fairly interesting, this was a well-written book for the most part. However, I didn't like the propensity in which Dennison used old-fashioned, excessively long or extremely unusual words, meaning I had to look things up several times a chapter. Usually the word ended up meaning something which could have been replaced with a far more commonplace word - I'm not sure if this was done to give the illusion of cleverness, but it put me off somewhat.
A good book, mostly for those who have read a bit on Victoria already or conversely, who have not read anything on her. It is small and not necessarily packed full of information, but still entertaining enough.
I chose to read this after reading A Victorian City and prior to reading Little Dorrit, so it was a great refresher to get me in the mood for Dickens.
I do recommend, as it is an easy and educational read!
I seem to like this book better than many reviewers. In fact, I looked forward to picking it up again whenever I had a moment. The author's insightful analysis of Victoria's family background and her resultant behavior provide a fascinating glimpse into this second longest reigning British monarch (after the current queen, Elizabeth II). I didn't want to know all about the foreign and domestic affairs of her reign; I did want to understand her a little better - and I do.
Although not the most thorough account of Victoria's life that I have read, it was one of the few that talked and in which I learned a little more of Victoria's life after Prince Albert's passing. I think the author gave himself as disadvantage when he wrote such a short book. After all, Victoria's life and reign was so long that he could have written at least 150 more pages that I would have been glad to read.

Like I said before, I learned a bit more about the life of Victoria that I didn't kno
I am not really sure who the audience is for this book or its goal. It presents Victoria's life in a superficial way, It focuses on family and a few other people but it is too short to do them justice. It's not even a good intro for those seeking to learn more about the woman who gave the name to an age and style. Disappointing.
Tuborg Skratulja
Very interesting read, though I think there would have to be a more precise and In depth biography out there, this book has got me more wanting to read on her expanding families and how theory branched out through Europe and how there lives would've changed despising one another as there countries faced wars.
It's a pocket-sized biography. Sparse on the facts/history and big on the salacious melodrama. A good perusal for those already knowledgeable about Queen Victoria's reign.
Christopher Morgan
A comparatively short look at the reign of one of Britain's longest serving monarchs. The author does duty to the life of Victoria rather than getting caught up in the lives of prominent relations.

If you want an in depth understanding of Queen Victoria's reign this is not the book. However, it does not profess to be as much. What it does do is give an original insight into an aspect of the subjects character. It charts emotional development under the tutelage of The Prince Consort and the subseq
Stuart Smith
This book is not great. I blame the editor. The book jumps all over the place like a coked out conversation about qv instead of a lucid historian with something to say. How this author has a multiple book publishing deal is beyond me.
Angela Pezel
A very limited biography of Queen Victoria. Easy to read and full of anecdotal information about her home life. Not a scholarly work, but of interest to the antiquarian and casual historical reader.
Andrea Engle
Brilliant, though brief, biography ... crammed with interesting facts, it concentrates on the personality of the queen ... good introduction to the history of the reign ...
Brenda Dobson
Wonderful book - couldn't put it down - highly recommend it!
May 13, 2014 Linda added it
Review for Library Journal
Enya-Marie Clay
There wasn't anything too special about this. A lot of the book seems to be made up of a collection of other people's work on Victoria and extracts from her diary rather than the author's own original work which is disappointing and doesn't really work that well, though the information is interesting. This book should have either been much shorter or much longer but as it is, it doesn't really work too well as the balance feels off.
Short, interesting and focusing especially on the contradictions in Queen Victoria's life rather than being a thorough biography - which is exactly what one would expect from reading the title. Some new facts and insights about the queen, so all in all a positive read. I liked it.
I received this book via the goodreads first reads program - thank you goodreads,matthew dennison and the publisher.

This is a small book considering the subject lived a very long life. I did enjoy the book but felt this was more of a teaser for a more indepth, detailed account of a very lengthy life.

Certainly a well researched book,I would read more of Matthew Dennisons books because I enjoyed his style of writing.

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