Queen Victoria (British History in Perspective)
Dead for little more than one hundred years, Queen Victoria has already been the subject of more biographies than any other woman born since 1800. This newest biography from a well known historian is justified and distinguished by the incorporation of recent research on often-neglected aspects of her life and reign, as well as its relative brevity. Including much of Victor...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 11th 2005 by Palgrave Macmillan
(first published 2003)
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Considering that Queen Victoria lived a public life, keeping journals and writing letters, for around 80 years, her biography could be very long indeed, but Walter Arnstein manages to compress it into about 200 pages, a manageable length for nonspecialist readers. At the same time, he provides footnotes and bibliography for readers who wish to continue the exploration. The evidence thus comes both from the many previous biographies, some focused on particular topics such as the young princess or...more
This book almost single-handedly convinced me that I should have been a history major. Arnstein seamlessly blends source documents to tell the intriguing story of Victoria and her family, both personal and historical without lingering too long on either.
After watching the "Young Victoria" movie, I was very interested in her because all the other versions I have seen/read are her later years, fat, hard, stuffy, and unhappy. The movie showed Victoria as vivacious, intriguing and sweetly in love. I read this book with my Classics Bookclub on the urging of my mother and cunning of Donna, and I really fell in love with it. It is a short biography (only 200 pages) for a life that spanned 90 yrs, but the authors does an AMAZING job of filling in holes...more
I never realized the vast amount of change Queen Victoria brought to her country and others. Initially, I thought this biography appeared tedious. Upon reading, I began to understand the power Victoria had, but I was surprised with her stubbornness and willpower. Although she appeared this way, I appreciated the information about her family and Parliament all the same.
I enjoyed the book - it was thorough but not so overwhelming that I found it difficult to read. The way the chapters are divided shows just how many sides there were to Victoria, and each aspect is given a fair amount of attention. I had to read it for my Victorian England class, so it definitely gave me further insight,
Not quite what I expected--or perhaps hoped. The emphasis is much more on her role as a politician and governor than on her personal affairs, and it is not a study of any particular depth. It was certainly very readable, but by no means comprehensive.