Victoria: A Life
|Author:||A. N. Wilson|
'Writing about Queen Victoria has been one of the most joyous experiences of my life. I have read thousands (literally) of letters never before published, and grown used to her as to a friend. Maddening? Egomaniac? Hysterical? A bad mother? Some have said so. What emerged for me was a brave, original woman who was at the very epicentre of Britain's changing place in the world: a solitary woman in an all-male world who understood politics and foreign policy much better than some of her ministers; a person possessed by demons, but demons which she was brave enough to conquer. Above all, I became aware, when considering her eccentric friendships and deep passions, of what a loveable person she was.' A. N. Wilson
The first comprehensively researched biography of Queen Victoria ever, by one of Britain's best biographers. This magnificent biography sheds new light on Victoria not just as a queen, but as a woman.
[A] splendid biography - this book is a gem: thoughtful, witty, insightful, striking a balance between political commentary and personal gossip... As this terrific biography shows, there really was a human being behind the gloomy portraits. --Dominic Sandbrook, Evening Standard Subtle, thoughtful ... a shimmering and rather wonderful biography --Kathryn Hughes, Guardian Wilson is affectionately alert to the rich contradictions of his subject's personality, and his deliciously readable biography becomes increasingly fascinating as Victoria's reign unfolds. - Jane Shilling, Daily Mail --Book of the Week This superb revisionist biography is the book that he was born to write. Wilson clearly loves and admires his subject, but this is a critical biography - funny, insightful, original and authoritative. At last Victoria has been rescued from her widow's weeds. --Jane Ridley, Spectator A. N. Wilson brings his novelist's perception and immense knowledge of the era to his effervescent biography of the tiny woman (4ft 11in) who ruled Britain for 61 years... This won't be the last biography of Victoria but it is certainly the most interesting and original in a long time. --Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times Ninety-five years ago, the standard was set by Lytton Strachey's lucid and moving Queen Victoria but A. N. Wilson has now raised the bar... And what a pity she never met A. N. Wilson: she shines in his company ... [this] expansive and victorious book. --Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph A. N. Wilson has written a sympathetic but by no means hagiographic biography of her that will probably overturn many people's prejudiced conception of her... Wilson's picture of her is a rounded one, with her vices and virtues. --Theodore Dalrymple, The Times A biographer of Queen Victoria also needs to be a good historian, with a confident grasp of the personalities and issues of 19th-century public life. Mr Wilson is at his best here... This is a bracing biography of a bracing woman ... it undeniably achieves its central aim to make us take Queen Victoria more seriously. --Michael Hall, Country Life Wilson is an excellent history teacher. He orders and narrates the hugely complex socio-political events and party infighting of the 19th century with a rare clarity... His own achievement, sustained by a lifetime's scholarly fascination with the Victorian era, is also in its way, awesome. --John Sutherland, Financial Times Few if any previous biographers have viewed her as incisively and absorbingly as Wilson does in his... smoothly flowing treatment of the queen's long life. The considerable detail he brings to his greatly balanced portrait not only strengthens his estimation of the significance of the queen in British governmental history but also successfully conveys for the general reader all the nuances of character that Wilson so carefully shares. --Brad Hooper, Booklist, starred review
A. N. Wilson grew up in Staffordshire and was educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is a prolific and award-winning biographer and celebrated novelist. He lives in North London.