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Queen Victoria: A Personal History by…

Queen Victoria: A Personal History (2000)

by Christopher Hibbert

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This is subtitled “A Personal History,” and that is a fair description. If you are looking for a biography that includes the political, sociological, diplomatic, and military contexts in any detail, this book will be a disappointment. If you are most interested in the family and other relationships, the happenings of court dinners, and wardrobes and such, this is the biography for you. ( )
  dasam | Jun 20, 2018 |
When I started reading this I really had very little interest in Queen Victoria or the era but I got swept up! Hibbert's a shameless gossip and it's as if you're reading about things that happened just the other week. I dare you not to enjoy it. QV's interesting. At times you really like her and at others she appears to have some sort of personality disorder. I now want to read biographies of everyone else mentioned. ( )
  Lukerik | Jul 12, 2016 |
It is a personal history of queen Victoria - as claimed in the title - and it does not cover political background, either domestic of foreign policy. It just is briefly mentioned sometimes. As a personal history it's very detailed and gives a vivid portrait of that very unusual English monarch with all her strengths and shortcomings. A little slow sometimes. ( )
1 vote everfresh1 | Sep 13, 2013 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Sitting at his breakfast table in his rented house in Brussels in December 1817, Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George III, carelessly threw across the "Morning Chronicle" to his attractive mistress, Julie de St Laurent, and began to open his letters.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0306810859, Paperback)

British scholar Christopher Hibbert adds another engrossing volume to his long list of informative and entertaining histories and biographies. Aptly subtitled "A Personal History," this portrait of England's longest reigning monarch focuses on Victoria's character, as well as her relationships with her husband, children, and the politicians who directed her government. Unlike George III, which found its subject to be a more intelligent and effective ruler than he had been judged traditionally, this biography does not offer a radically new assessment of Victoria (1819-1901). Instead, Hibbert adds color to the stock image of a stout, grieving widow who was dressed perennially in black as she presided over England's imperial prime. His Queen Victoria is imperious and dignified, to be sure; she is also fun loving, highly emotional, and passionately in love with her consort, Prince Albert. Victoria was mortified to discover she had become pregnant within weeks of her marriage, fearing that it would spoil her intimacy with her husband; and, although she was fond of their many children, Hibbert candidly depicts her as a difficult and overbearing mother. In the graceful, engaging prose that is his trademark, Hibbert skillfully traces England's political evolution into a truly constitutional monarchy through Victoria's dealings with her prime ministers. He also judiciously evaluates her personal ties, particularly the thorny one with son and heir Bertie (later Edward VII), and the controversial one with Scottish servant John Brown. (Hibbert concludes that a sexual link between the two was "most improbable.") His appealing book reaffirms the pleasures of old-fashioned narrative biography. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The unearthing of lively, telling anecdotes is the special province of Christopher Hibbert, who delights in forcing readers, in the most entertaining way, to reassess all their notions about some of the world's most intriguing historical figures. His biography of Victoria is no exception. We learn in these pages that not only was she the formidable, demanding, capricious Queen of popular imagination, but she was also often shy and vulnerable, prone to giggling fits and crying jags. Often puritanical and censorious when confronted with her mother's moral lapses, she herself could be passionately sensual, emotional, and deeply sentimental. Her 64-year reign saw thrones fall, empires crumble, new continents explored, and England's rise to global and industrial dominance. Hibbert's account of Victoria's life and times is just as sweeping as he reveals to us the real Victoria in all her complexity: failed mother and imperious monarch, irrepressible woman and icon of a repressive age.--From publisher description.… (more)

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