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Queen Victoria

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,076 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Insights into the political eras of various Prime Ministers as well as the significance of the Prince Consort and the period of widowhood.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Echo Library (first published January 1st 1921)
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Paul Bryant
This is not in Lytton Strachey's crafty and mordant biography but he would have seen this and smirked his head off. When Queen Victoria got married, the joke going round the gentlemen's clubs of Mayfair was about the honeymoon train. It would be setting out from Waterloo, passing through Virginia Water and Bushey until arriving at Maidenhead, leaving Staines behind.

(For those unfamiliar with the geography of the Home Counties, these are all small towns in the south of England.)

When the British t
Jul 11, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this a remarkable biography. It is quite short when one considers that it covers the longest reign in English History and the life of a monarch who lived 81 years. It works because Strachey focuses on the personality relationships that dominated that period--all of which centered upon the Queen. Thus we find chapters dealing with Lord Melbourne, Prince Albert (Chapters 4 through 6}, Lord Palmerston {in conjunction with the Prince Consort} Gladstone and Disraeli. In The central section th ...more
Mar 03, 2011 Dagmar1927 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this originally for historical purposes, just to see what all the fuss was about really in all the other biographies I'd read. However, I took it out of the library and couldn't put it down.

I loved Strachey's quiet exasperation of the Queen's somewhat questionable fashion sense at the state visit to Paris in 1855. It was the first time I'd read about such a reaction to her clothing and the slightly unnerving image of all that green and carnations was rather amusing. As was the profusion o
Oct 09, 2016 Negin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
I had expected this free e-book to be a bit on the dry side. Although it was bit boring at times, most of it was fascinating and quite engaging. More than anything, the love between Victoria and Albert touched my heart.
Shawn Thrasher
May 13, 2013 Shawn Thrasher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book written and published approximately 90 years ago, this had a very modern feel. Strachey's biography certainly contains all the bones of Victoria's life; biographers writing after Strachey added meat, particularly the later years of Victoria's life and reign. Even Strachey has all the meat in the early years, up to the Prince Consort's death. I wonder if Strachey's biography set the narrative tone, created the Victoria story (so to speak) that future biographers all follow? I also assu ...more
Jul 04, 2011 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giles Lytton Strachey was an early 20th century writer and biographer who developed a reputation for writing biographies that dealt with individuals as people, rather than the events they were associated with. His 1921 biography of the British monarch, Queen Victoria, is a highly readable insight into this long-reigning queen.

Many public domain books can be slow to read, with language that is sometimes archaic when compared to contemporary writing. This is not the case with Strachey's work. Not
Sep 18, 2013 Paola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, 2013, history
This very lively biography of Queen Victoria must be one of the best ads for republicanism I have come across: voluble, domineering, egotist, not well educated, her genuine concerns for her subjects appear rarely if at all. In most interactions she is surprised and disappointed by their failure to understand what she really means.
Why should birth confer privileges to such a person? She harasses her Ministers, she presses for war on one side then the other on a whim, she amasses a private fortune
Yasmin Halliwell Fraser Bower
This is a short biography of Queen Victoria’s years in the throne. It starts with a little background of the line of succession and the circumstances that made her next in line. It basically centers in the first years of her reign, while she was in close relationships with Lord M. and then, with Albert. The years after Albert’s death are little known according to the author, so it was not well detailed. Also, the wars and political context wasn’t truly portrayed, it’s more a ‘private life’ biogr ...more
Mar 26, 2017 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happened to see the movie The Young Victoria and my curiosity grew. I had little idea about the life of this monarch except that some of my favorite literature was written during her reign. I also wondered if the events in the movie had been exaggerated. What a surprise to find that most of the movie was actual events in this book.

I loved that so many of the influences on both Victoria and Albert were people who encouraged them to be moral and careful leaders, using their power for good. A tr
Nov 02, 2010 Alana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing The Young Victoria, I became very interested in reading more about her. Apparently, she fell for Albert practically on sight and didn't need much persuasion to get married at all! I wanted to know about her family life the most but there isn't much of that in this book. Albert was extremely private and so it doesn't surprise me much. There is a lot of speculation about how Albert felt about his situation but again I don't know how much to believe since most of it is observation.

The three stars are only for "liking it" not for its inherent merit. Read like a slightly gossipy novel, which was nice, kept the flow and readability going.

Written by the interesting Strachey, founding member of the Bloomsbury Group (a group of writers which included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and others).

Daughter is "being" Queen Victoria for a school project, audience to ask biographical questions. Needed to have some questions to ask, thus this reading, which isn't my usual fare.

Jul 25, 2008 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
4 stars for the first 80 pages - 3 stars for the rest. Strachey's gossipy prurience makes him a superb narrator of the court intrigue, the royal dissipation, the machinations of succession that begin Victoria's story. But things lagged after the marriage: I guess the sprightliest of historians can't do much with Albert's flood of memoranda, Victoria's flood of children. I was hoping that Prince Edward, trailing an entourage of mistresses, might take the stage for a while, but he's dealt with in ...more
Bernard Madsen
Nov 18, 2011 Bernard Madsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Half way through the reading of this tome (original 1921 hardcover)I stopped and noted how amazing the writing of this author was... poetic, flowing and beautiful... so nice. An absolutely wonderful book! I see now what all the fuss about Strachey's writing was... an easy, breezy, flowing narrative of an amazing life, of an amazing human, who was actually very, very human indeed. Beautifully done.
Sajith Kumar
Jan 17, 2017 Sajith Kumar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reign of Alexandrina Victoria (1819 – 1901) as the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was so profound as to be termed the ‘Victorian Era’. At 63 years and six months on the throne, she is second only to her successor, Queen Elizabeth II in the length of reign. Called upon to wear the crown at the tender age of 18, Victoria was the exemplar of public and private morality. Sweeping changes occurred in Britain during the six decades of her reign which saw England getting o ...more
Mar 08, 2017 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for a complete overview of her reign! Not a lot of detail about every aspect, but definitely a good jumping off point. I'm excited to learn more in further books, inspired by this book and Victoria on Masterpiece.
Luke Holmes
Apr 08, 2017 Luke Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutamente indispensable para las personas interesadas en la época victoriana y el personaje de Victoria. Una maravilla que, más que una biografía, parece una novela que nos cuenta la vida de una joven que comenzó a reinar y acabó convirtiéndose en una de las figuras más importantes de la historia en Europa. Recomendadísima.
Mar 17, 2017 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Queen Vic from an Edwardian perspective. The back of the book says: "This book is well known as the greatest achievement of modern biography in the English language." Not sure that I would go that far, but it is pretty impressive and certainly captures the essence of an enigmatic Queen. My edition is the 1929 Phoenix Edition Reprint
Mar 18, 2014 Jesi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a student of history, Queen Victoria has always fascinated me, because with her long reign, the leader of Britain at its largest point, her nine children and multitudes of grand and great-grand children, it is difficult to find a corner of the world which she didn’t influence.

Victoria was conceived specifically for political purposes. Her father, the Duke of Kent, married a young widow for the express purpose of producing an heir before his brothers could do so. Growing up, she knew that she
Richard Bentley
Feb 09, 2017 Richard Bentley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating Overall/Genre: (8.3/9) We are often led by strange routes to books. My reading of this title came about from reading a short chapter in Archie and Mehitabel, by Don Marquis. In that chapter Archie (a cockroach who had transmigrated from the body of a vers libre poet and typed unpunctuated blank verse with his head) was visiting London and described the ghosts he saw, one being Queen Victoria who came every night to hit Strachey over the head with her sceptre. Unfortuately, Strachey never ...more
James Whyle
I stopped reading fiction in the 1980s because I felt that no one could write a novel as good as Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings. It seems to be a thing that happens with some male readers as they age. In the next twenty years or so Annie Proulx's short stories got me. Or I got them. Then in the late noughts good friends recommended The Road. I've since read almost all of Cormac McM, just like I read almost everything that Mailer wrote. (It is a very good thing, now and then, to devour a writer ...more
Stratchey was only 20 years out from the Victorian era when he wrote this book. Many people still remembered her and opinions were still out on her legacy. There's a gossipy tone to this book that draws the reader in. I found it compelling in spite of a complete lack of mystery.

The extended section on the Prince Consort's role in governance was particularly interesting. I heard the narrative of the Queen being in charge during their marriage, but never considered the Prince's conservative attit
Le personnage de Victoria ne m'a jamais semblé palpitant mais l'époque victorienne m'intéresse, surtout sur le plan littéraire.
L’ouvrage de Strachey est à peine une biographie, plutôt un portrait psychologique où l’humour à froid de l’auteur fait mouche. On n’est pas noyé sous les dates et parfois on a un peu de mal à se resituer dans le temps à cause de certains retours en arrière intempestifs. D’ailleurs, après son mariage avec Albert, c’est lui qui devient le « héros » de l’histoire et Victor
Rosaria Sgarlata

La nascita di Vittoria segna un momento importante per la storia della monarchia inglese in quanto si dovrà decidere chi sarà il successore del re in caso di morte. Per diritto di nascita l'onore spetta alla piccola Vittoria così che sua madre si adopera affinchè la sua educazione e la sua istruzione le tracci la strada verso la corona.

Io sarò buona.

Nel momento in cui Vittoria si rende conto che nel suo futuro potrebbe davvero esserci il diritto alla coron
Lana Superchi
This was a solid 3.5 star rating so I could have gone with either 3 or 4. I began watching the Victoria series on PBS which compelled me to read the book. The writing is delightful and at times really held my attention. At other times, I just got a bit bored with some of what I felt were too many details. It is a good book and am happy that I took the time to read it.
Feb 07, 2010 Lenoresachs added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of history
Recommended to Lenoresachs by: a friend
The first chapters cram more history of the English nobility (the various marriages, liasons, deaths, etc.)into a few pages than can be readily absorbed but finally arrive at the point where Victoria's personal development is described: her education by tutors (she was trilingual, and, interestingly, she was more familiar with the German language than with English); she had no respite from her mother's constant supervision of her behavior and education and public appearances. With that backgroun ...more
Feb 24, 2017 Jolette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Dec 18, 2008 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't sure what to expect but the opening pages are a hilariously gossipy approach to royal biography, yet in fine literary style - can't wait to get back to it!

Finished: "Gossipy" not quite the term, lest one encompass this in the same breath with Andrew Morton and the like, but Strachey's somewhat irreverent style (particularly compared with what was customary at the time he wrote) set a new standard for biography, that is still admired and emulated. You already know that he was one of the Bl
Jan 09, 2011 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knowing quite a bit about the authors, artists, and thinkers from the Victorian era, I was surprised to find I knew little about Victoria herself. Strachey's biography was an invaluable set of anecdotes, analyses, and explanations that humanize the monarch for me while providing a strong through-line narrative that reminded me of the historical events that went on around her (or, more often than not, that she shaped). Surprisingly funny and thoroughly well-researched, Strachey is able to breathe ...more
Jan 19, 2017 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This biography published in 1921 is accessible, informative, very readable and often entertaining, but as it went on two difficulties emerged: that there was only so much interesting one can write about Victoria who in her eighty-one years was remarkably consistent in her reactions, behavior and modes of expression, and that Strachey would rather have been writing a biography of Albert. Unfortunately the man died too soon, and with him the vitality of the biography. It had a momentary reprieve w ...more
Luciana Darce
Feb 11, 2016 Luciana Darce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O livro escrito por Lytton Strachey - parte do famoso Círculo de Bloomsbury - é saboroso e agradável de ler, por vezes permeado com uma afetuosa exasperação pela figura da Rainha. Ele passa por cima das partes mais escandalosas e desabonadoras que envolveram Vitória, mas nem por isso é menos sagaz em seus insights ou casualmente irônico quando necessário.

É um livro relativamente curto, de prosa elegante, que bem demonstra o talento literário do autor: Rainha Vitória se lê quase como romance e n
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  • Queen Victoria
  • Queen Victoria: A Personal History
  • The Young Victoria
  • Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria
  • Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert
  • Queen Victoria's Gene Haemophilia and the Royal Family
  • The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century
  • Queen Victoria, From her Birth to the Death of the Prince Consort
  • A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy
  • The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter
  • An Uncommon Woman - The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm
  • Queen Victoria's Children
  • The Victorians
  • Alice, The Enigma - A Biography of Queen Victoria's Daughter
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories
  • Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece
  • Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess
  • A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne Jones, Agnes Poynter, and Louisa Baldwin
Giles Lytton Strachey was a British writer and critic. He is best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit. His 1921 biography Queen Victoria was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
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