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Queen Victoria: From Her Birth to the Death of the Prince Consort

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Paperback, 504 pages
Published October 3rd 1986 by Plume (first published January 1st 1972)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  133 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Absolutely outstanding material. Written in a literary style and solid on the facts of the case. The author has a strong feel for personality and makes the people and events come alive as if they were a remarkably good movie. I'm VERY hard to please with biographies so you can be assured this book is as good as they come.
There's only one complaint I have to make. The author stated an opinion that Prince Albert showed signs of mental decline when he wrote an angry letter to his son after his son
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this on my grandparents' bookshelf six years ago and had a look at the pictures. Nothing happened for a year and then curiosity got the better of me and I started to read. I think that this was one of the best decisions I made in my life. This may seem a little exaggerated, but this was the first book I ever read about Queen Victoria and it sparked an interest in her that has lasted five years and gives me an interest that we are never taught at school, but I know more about than I ever ...more
I will write a longer review later, finished this book a couple of weeks ago. This was an excellent read. Came by the book via my Grandmother's book collection. It is non-fiction that reads as fiction, long before that was de rigueur. The author is at historian and delves deeply into the facts and the details of everyday life, the surroundings and people. For some this may just be to much minutia, I found it fascinating as this was my first real scholarly delve in the Victorian era. This book c ...more
BJ Rose
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This surprised me by being a very enjoyably-readable tome of the life and times of Queen Victoria. The author succeeded (with me) in making this a very well-documented accounting of Victoria the person and woman as well as Victoria the queen. We see her as a girl, trained and manipulated for potential political gain by others. We see her relationships with her mother, with her half-sister Feodora (who she loved devotedly all her life), and especially with her husband Albert, the absolute love of ...more
Jenny Miles
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't easy to find (or cheap on Amazon) but it was so worth it! I am obsessed with Queen Victoria lately, thanks to the film Young Victoria. This book helped to sort out was real and what was fiction in that movie. I love Woodham-Smith's narrative style that makes all the historical and political context easy to understand. Now I am hungry for Victoria's life after Albert dies!! I also plan to find Woodham-Smith's biography of Florence Nightingale.
Richard Thomas
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fine biography, regrettably left uncompleted by the author's death. She offers many insights into Victoria's early life and paints a sympathetic picture of someone who in later life became a monstre sacre of selfishness.
Read thru about half -- then ended up watching the A&E miniseries -- put it down and moved on.....good, but very very detailed
Soo political and slow going. If you're interested in the personal and family life of Queen Victoria, skip this one.
James Burns
Ms Woodham-Smith did a great job on giving us a look into the character and life of the queen and life in Victorian England. We also experienced what the politics was like between nations in Europe in the 1800's, and how royal marriages effected nations and their alliances and policies. During Queen Victoria's reign 1800's was a precursor of events that lead to WW I. European alliances and Europe were in the process of being powder keg of unstableness and European Royal houses were being overthr ...more
Luce Cronin
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
I really enjoyed this work of non-fiction. For some readers it may seem dry and longish because it is really packed with information re lineage, Victorian politics, etc. But it gave me a better idea of the woman that was Queen Victoria. Although I am by no means a royalist, I was fascinated at the details of her personal as well as political life , and found myself looking at her and family with much more compassionate eyes.
Susan Lorenz
I read this book in conjunction with watching the PBS series about the Queen. Glad I did as it helped me understand all the characters and their motivations. That said this book is very dry in many spots. I'm sure it is absolutely factual but the writer's style is not particularly interesting or compelling. You might want to look around at other biographies of Victoria, of which I'm sure there are many.
Pat Heath
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved learning about the Queen and her government, family life, and marriage to Albert.
Jane Mendelsohn
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating history of Queen Victoria and the politics in Europe during her life.
June J. McInerney
You just gotta love PBS/BBC’s Masterpiece. It’s the only show on television (I am addicted to all things Netflix) that I consistently watch and one of the only presentations on broadcast media that has inspired me to read about history. "Downton Abbey" sent me on a quest to learn more about British life in the early 1900s (now one of my favorite eras of, um, all time). "The Durell’s in Corfu" had me searching for works by Lawrence Durell, noted British novelist and travel writer. And "Victoria", ...more
This is a very thorough book on the life of Queen Victoria. No one who influenced her life or to whom she spoke is left out. This is a book more for the researcher than the reader looking for a little more on the Queen's life.

Thorough Notes and Index.

Recommended with limitations.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it for the insight it gives me for Victoria on PBS. Well written, balancing personal moments with political context. However, often dialogue in foreign languages is not translated, so keep Google translator handy. Also, it's a pity the author died before completing her second volume on Victoria,(view spoiler) While history has given us the answer, it would have ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir, 2013
This is a very engaging and well-researched biography with a great deal of detail (every so often too much). It provides a thorough and sensitive portrayal of Queen Victoria's difficult childhood and adolescence. The ending, although expected, feels like a cliff-hanger and leaves one wanting more of the story.
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This might be too much book for most, but I found it a fascinating read of Queen Victoria's early life -- up until the death of Prince Albert. It had just the right amount of depth, so it was a quick read and one that I looked forward to reading every day.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biograhpy, royals
Wow! This was a very intricate look at the Queen and how she lived up till the death of her husband. The author has done a wonderful job of including the politics of the time with some of the gossip and intrique.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A lovely work of scholarship that tells a fascinating story. It is hard not to come away admiring both Victoria and Albert a great deal. As far as the story goes, there were times when I thought I was reading a fantasy novel!
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robert by:
Read 3 times. First read 11/1975
Sharon Connell
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very in-depth autobiography of the woman I most admire.
rated it it was ok
Jan 31, 2012
Karen Toholsky
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Jan 27, 2013
William  Shep
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Feb 22, 2019
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Cecil Blanche Woodham-Smith (née Fitzgerald) was a British historian and biographer. She wrote four popular history books, each dealing with a different aspect of the Victorian era.
“Oh! It is dreadful...that one is almost always separated from those ones loves dearly and is encumbered with those one dislikes. -Queen Victoria” 0 likes
“One of the very few valid criticisms of Queen Victoria is that she was not sufficiently concerned with improvement of the conditions in which a great mass of her subjects passed their lives. She lived through an age of profound social change, but neither public health, nor housing, nor the education of her people, nor their representation, engaged much of her time.” 0 likes
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