Queen Victoria: A Personal History

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"Mein Gott! That is a woman!" exclaimed the Iron Chancellor, Count Bismarck, as he emerged, shaken and mopping his brow, from an interview with Queen Victoria. The unearthing of such lively, telling anecdotes is the special province of Christopher Hibbert, who delights in forcing readers, in the most entertaining way, to radically reassess all their received notions about some of the world's most famous, intriguing historical figures. His biography of Victoria is no exception. We will 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. Ascending to the throne at eighteen, her sixty-four 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dasam - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lukerik - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Contents

The Family
3
The Parents
9
The Child
17
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Christopher Hibbert: March 5, 1924 -- December 21, 2008 Historian Christopher Hibbert was born as Arthur Raymond Hibbert in Enderby, England in 1924. He dropped out of Oriel College to join the Army. He served with the London Irish Rifles and won the Military Cross. He earned a degree in history in 1948. Before becoming a full-time nonfiction writer, he worked as a real estate agent and a television critic for Truth magazine. He wrote more than 60 books throughout his lifetime including The Road to Tyburn (1957), Il Duce: The Life of Benito Mussolini(1962), George IV: Prince of Wales, 1762-1811 (1972), and George IV: Regent and King, 1812-1830 (1973). Hibbert was awarded the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962 for The Destruction of Lord Raglan. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographical Society, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature by the University of Leicester. He died from bronchial pneumonia on December 21, 2008 at the age of 84.

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