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.
I enjoyed this book , it offered a different perspective to the one that I was taught in history lessons so long ago, from memory, that of a perpetual grieving queen who withdrew from public life and disliked children. She was anything but uninvolved and disinterested and the power and influence she yielded and used was surprising and even shocking on occasions.
This was a great biography which gave tremendous insight into the private and public life of Queen Victoria. It fascinated me and I recommend it to not only history buffs but got all who like a good story well told.