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Victoria: The Woman who Made the Modern World by [Baird, Julia]
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Victoria: The Woman who Made the Modern World Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 683 pages Word Wise: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

The extraordinary story of the world's most influential, intriguing and surprising ruler, Queen Victoria.

When Alexandrina Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 20 June 1837, she was 18 years old and barely five feet tall. Her subjects were fascinated and intrigued; some felt sorry for her. Writer Thomas Carlyle, watching her gilded coach draw away from the coronation, said: 'Poor little Queen, she is at an age at which a girl can hardly be trusted to choose a bonnet for herself; yet a task is laid upon her from which an archangel might shrink.'

Queen Victoria is long dead, but in truth she has shaped us from the grave. She was a tiny, powerful woman who reigned for an astonishing 64 years. By the time of her Diamond Jubilee Procession in 1897, she reigned over a fourth of the inhabitable part of the world, had 400 million subjects, and had given birth to nine children. Suffrage, anti-poverty and anti-slavery movements can all be traced to her monumental reign, along with a profound rethinking of family life and the rise of religious doubt. When she died, in 1901, she was the longest reigning monarch in English history. Victoria is truly the woman who made the modern world.

A fascinating, provocative and authoritative new biography of Queen Victoria which will make us see her in a new light, from one of Australia's most admired and respected journalists and commentators, Julia Baird.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8928 KB
  • Print Length: 683 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 November 2016)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00X32PTJY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,223 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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I heard the author interviewed while she was in the throes of writing this book and made a mental note then to read it as soon as it was published. I was not disappointed. Meticulously researched, Victoria's life has been chronicled faithfully and echoes the times in which she ruled, the events she witnessed during her long reign, and her cohorts. I was fascinated when the pages dropped me right into the daily life of the queen. I was privy to her thoughts, her opinions, her moods and her perceived shortcomings. I watched as history unfolded through her eyes, faithfully gleaned from her journal entries, archives and the written observations of those closest to her.

If you were expecting a tough slog through history then this book is not for you. If you want to meet the woman who made the modern world, then treat yourself and begin an amazing journey through 19th century England, alongside one of the most redoubtable rulers in recent history.
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Found this fresh, new biography on Queen Victoria an absolutely riveting and absorbing read. Julia Baird does a great job of showing Victoria as a woman in relation to the social norms of the time she lived in and how she coped. Meticulously researched and beautifully written. Highly recommended.
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Not only is this book superbly researched; it is fascinating reading. I have read a great deal about Queen Victoria, some of it impossibly heavy going, and some of it frankly salacious. Julia Baird brings this amazing woman to life, and allows us to see her with all her strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand she worked tirelessly for her country, showing great understanding of political issues, and frequently attempting to override long suffering prime ministers, and on the other hand she was a devoted (some would say 'over-devoted') mother, and of course, most famously, the adoring wife of Prince Albert. It is an enormous pity that Victoria's children so ruthlessly burnt or edited Victoria's voluminous diaries and correspondence, but sufficient material exists that enabled Julia Baird to portray a mighty personality who nevertheless had many personal weaknesses, not least of which was an overwhelming capacity for self pity, which pretty much crippled her personality in the decades after her beloved Albert's death.
This work is illuminating, but objective. All praise to Julia Baird for adding a new perspective to our view of the great Victoria and her legacy for current times.
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I really enjoyed this new biography of Victoria, well I have to admit I'd never been tempted by any of the other ones, being by no means a royalty enthusiast. But the first chapter reassured me as: a) the fantastic writing would easily see me through such a tome, and b) Baird puts as much effort into describing the social and historic context of Victoria's time, which I find more interesting than the life of a strange spoiled child. Baird does sometimes (well mostly in the introduction) seem to exaggerate the importance of Victoria, there's a sense that because society changed so much during her reign that she must be responsible for these changes. But then in the body Baird does do a good job showing in which instances Victoria was politically powerless or going against the grain of progress, so it's more a stylistic issue. I can heartily recommend this as a very easy to read history of the period, even if it is from the perspective of royalty. 'Serious History' folk might find the language a little flowery at times, and a few assertions a little poorly evidenced. Everyone else will love it and learn a lot.
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This is a remarkable book on many levels.

As an insight into Queen Victoria it is wonderful and answers so many questions about the mother of nine children who gave her name to an era.

As a history record it describes without judgment the smells and the squalor that were consequences of growth of knowledge and technology unparalleled in history.

As an anthropological account of explaining history, it puts into perspective the gap between ambitions of people put in authority to govern and the structural elements that kept those ambitions in check and kept the rate of change sustainable, just.

It is a mirror to our own times and by implication contrasts our preciousness about miniscule pollution with the stoic way people tolerated and worked to combat the gross filth from which no person could escape in the nineteenth century.

This is a wonderful book that gives insight into systems and how individuals make systems work and how checks and balances work and how individuals solve the problems of systems.
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