By Elizabeth Longford
A new edition of the classic 1964 biography of Queen Victoria, reissued for the 200th anniversary of her birth.
'The truth was stranger than any of the fictions that have since been offered to explain her away'
Drawing upon Queen Victoria's previously unpublished journals, Elizabeth Longford's classic biography recalls the contrasts and curiosities of an earlier era with exquisite detail - and transforms the queen from a severe, time-worn effigy into a human being who loved, feared and fumed.
Longford probes the contradictions of a woman who wore a bonnet instead of a crown at her Golden Jubilee and yet was recognised always as both dignified and formidable. She chronicles both the Queen's public life and her emotional travails, including surprisingly stormy passages in her and Prince Albert's otherwise loving marriage. A refreshingly human image of the Queen emerges: voluble, passionate, politic and articulate, with an irresistible mixture of grandeur and simplicity.
'Dazzlingly readable, and very enjoyable'
'Queen Victoria has in Lady Longford her fullest and best-informed, most sensible and sympathetic biographer'
'Gives us more than the general reader has ever had, revealing the Queen as a character at once simple and complex, authoritarian and humble'
Elizabeth Pakenham CBE (otherwise known as Elizabeth Longford) was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a lifelong socialist, and the author of several hugely acclaimed biographies. She wrote a celebrated two-volume biography of Wellington, and biographies of Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. Victoria was her second book.
She had eight children with her husband Frank Pakenham, among them historians Lady Antonia Fraser and Thomas Pakenham. She died on 23 October 2002.
- Other details
- Publication date:
18 Apr 2019
- Page count:
It is hard to imagine how Lady Longford's detailed and vivid volume could have been bettered . . . scholarly yet racily readable, witty yet wise — Sunday Times
Gives us more than the general reader has ever had, revealing the Queen as a character at once simple & complex, humble & authoritarian — Daily Telegraph
So sanely and attractively written with each episode blending so easily into the next that the reader is soon carried along in fascination — Financial Times
[Queen Victoria] has in Lady L. her fullest and best-informed, most sensible and sympathetic biographer — The Times
A full, authoritative study — Jane Ridley, The Spectator
Dazzlingly readable, and very enjoyable — Stella Gibbons
Very few biographies which have reached the public in recent years can have as good a claim to be called "definitive" as has Elizabeth Longford's life of Queen Victoria — New York Books
Longford has brought Queen Victoria to life again, and presents to a new generation of readers one of the most truly remarkable personalities of history with scrupulous care, fidelity and wit — The Spectator