If you’ve been watching – and enjoying – the recent dramatisation of Queen Victoria’s life starring Jenna Coleman this might well be the book for you. Worsley has brought a fresh and engaging aspect to both her television documentaries and her publications. Previous biographies of the monarch have tended to be a bit dry and dour adding to the perception of a sad queen in mourning for most of her life.
Here Worsley uses Victoria’s own diaries to bring the monarch to life. From her very early years when she is taking the throne right through her extensive and enduring reign as monarch. Never has one Queen been on the throne for such a period of change in Britain. Victoria saw (and didn’t much like, until Albert persuaded her otherwise) the birth of the railway and the industrialisation of Britain, the developments in science and medicine that would save millions of lives and the power of the Empire world wide.
The diary extracts do a great deal to humanise the monarch and to put into context a lot of decisions that she made. The depth of detail in these diaries is just incredible and you begin to wonder at times how she managed to fit everything into her day! Worsley focuses on twenty four key events in Victoria’s life and uses the diaries to make Victoria seem like a much more rounded and human individual. A wife, a mother and a woman in her own right as well as one of Britain’s most iconic Queens.
UK Publication Date: Sept 6 2018. 432 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.