Becoming Queen Paperback – 5 Mar 2009
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"The amazing untold story of Victoria before she was Queen ... Kate Williams reveals a passionate young woman beloved of her future subjects but at war with her family" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Passionate, exuberant and entertaining, a treasure trove of royalty, intrigue and politics ... vividly and sensitively brings to life the girl who would become Queen" (Simon Sebag Montefiore)
"This fresh and vivid portrayal of the young Queen Victoria is deserving of the highest praise. I cannot recommend it highly enough" (Alison Weir, author of The Lady Elizabeth)
"Becoming Queen showcases an outstanding talent from whom we can expect much more" (Matthew d'Ancona Spectator)
"History as exciting and tempestuous as you are ever likely to find" (Country Life)
This fresh and vivid portrayal of the young Queen Victoria is deserving of the highest praise. I cannot recommend it highly enough --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Ultimately in this very engaging historical biography, Kate Williams has achieved in bringing to life young Victoria, spirited, intelligent, and passionate, who through a change of fortune would become one of the most important monarchs in world history. A monarch who with the love of her future husband Albert, would usher in a new optimistic age. Brilliant and my pick for the best biography of 2008.
My reservations stem from the section on Victoria, because I am more familiar with her life than Charlotte's. Principally, the portrait of Albert that emerges reads more like caricature - the stodgy and conniving Coburg princeling - than the highly intelligent, passionately loving and inexperienced twenty-year-old he was when they married. His humour (which wasn't on display for strangers; he was shy) never rates a mention, and the author seems to take issue with him wanting to do more than just be a decorative royal stud. The overall tone leaves one wondering if Albert loved Victoria at all or was just manipulating her - an entirely unreasonable stance, given all the evidence of their lives.
Another claim made in passing has, in my opinion, no place in a serious biography. Saying that "surely" Stockmar arranged for Albert to visit a courtesan before his marriage smears both men as hypocrites. Albert's whole family background, with his mother divorced by his hypocritical and promiscuous father, and his brother's acquisition of VD at an early age, clearly made sexual license abhorrent to him. There are simply no grounds for supposing he would have visited a prostitute in preparation for his marriage.
There are also factual errors. One simple one should have been caught by editing: calling Melbourne head of the Tory party.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best biographies I read on Queen Victoria. It provides an intimate picture of Victoria growing up and explains much of her actions as a regnant and woman. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Guendalina
Fascinating and very readable. I read it on kindle and sent the book to my mother, who was delighted with it.Published 4 months ago by Mae West
The actor who reads this book is well known for her role in The Archers where she plays the pretentious and self-obsessed Lynda Snell. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Petruchio
An enthralling read about the tragically cut short life of Princess Charlotte and how that event led to Queen Victoria becoming queen. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Hill Bagger
Sorry, although this book is full of interesting facts about the monarchy of the period, it wasn't for me. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rose Wright