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Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  47 reviews

Who was Queen Victoria? A little old lady, potato-like in appearance, dressed in everlasting black? Or a passionate young princess, a romantic heroine with a love of dancing? There is also a third Victoria - a woman who was also a remarkably successful queen, one who invented a new role for the monarchy. She found a way of being a respected sovereign in an age when people

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Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published September 6th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Olishka
Aug 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Worsley in her introduction: "On the face of it, she was deeply conservative. But if you look at her actions rather than her words, she was in fact tearing up the rule book for how to be female."

Victoria: “I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of “Women’s Rights,” with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. We
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Katie Lumsden
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this one. Lucy Worsley just writes fantastic nonfiction.
Elizabeth
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tl;dr: Queen Victoria: Twenty Four Days that Changed Her Life has an mouthful of a title but is an engaging piece of popular culture history.

It focuses on 24 "days" or periods in Queen Victoria's life, covering the period from her birth to death, with roughly half the book devoted to her early life and marriage to Prince Albert, with the remainder focusing on her widowhood and later reign.

Covering Queen Victoria is a lot--she ruled for over sixty years, and was an astonishing popular figure for
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Nancy
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Recent books and films have overturned the popular image of Queen Victoria as a dour recluse widow of ponderous dimensions to include the lively, stubborn girl-queen who loved dancing and wine and the young wife who enjoyed sex.

Lucy Worsley wanted to expand Victoria's story beyond the "dancing princess to potato" to include the woman who preserved the monarchy and ruled an empire. Worsley draws from Victoria's diaries and journals, probing behind the polished exterior presented for posterity. He
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Laurel
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just in time for the premiere of the third season of Victoria on Masterpiece Classic on PBS on 13 January 2019, this new biography of one of the United Kingdom's (and the world's) most famous queen arrives like a gift on a red velvet pillow for fans of the TV series and British history to devour and adore.

In her usually upbeat and engaging style, social historian and Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley's biography of Queen Victoria is a selective view of the life of the most p
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Samantha

This book follows 23 (not counting her parents wedding day??) days in Queen Victoria's life, and involved an amalgamation of information drawn from various primary and secondary sources. I read this really REALLY quick for a non-fiction book (and for me) as it was truly different.

First things first, I don't think this book is very new with information given and wouldn't really be a good recommendation if you're looking for an incredibly in depth or detailed account of Queen Victoria. I do feel
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Alisha
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy Worsley writes about history in a very accessible style, and her biography of Queen Victoria is an enjoyable read. She frames the biography in an interesting way: by selecting 24 meaningful days and using them as a springboard to explain the queen's life and development.
This technique feels most effective in the first part of the book, where Victoria's childhood, accession to the throne, engagement, and marriage form a natural narrative. Where she begins to leap forward in time to the middl
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Helen Carolan
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Ms Worsley's books, but I've never been a big fan of queen Victoria or prince Albert. However I might revise my idea of Victoria. Certainly her early years with her mother were difficult, but her later treatment of her mother was quite shocking. Much of the blame for how Victoria turned out in later years can be laid at Albert's door. Despite vowing to herself never to become dependent on a man like her mother, Victoria did exactly that and allowed Albert to dictate how both their private ...more
Christina
I run past Kensington Palace almost every morning, and every morning I see a tourist taking a picture of the giant white statue of Queen Victoria. I realised, being rather American, that I don't know very much about Queen Victoria. So when I saw that Lucy Worsley wrote a book about her, I felt it was my civic duty to read it. (Side note: Lucy Worsley is one of the best people on the planet, and I want to be her when I grow up.)

I really enjoyed this book. It is interesting, and it reads more like
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Laura Moore
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book that I was very lucky to receive as a Christmas present. As usual, Lucy Worsley achieves the perfect balance of education and entertainment and she certainly manages to dispel the myth of Victoria and Albert's supposed perfect, romantic love story as portrayed in the TV series starring Jenna Coleman - it was a real eye-opener!
Meg
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life by Lucy Worsley and I give it 5 stars. I first discovered Worsley through a documentary about the Russian Tsars and absolutely loved her presentation style, so when I saw that she wrote a book about Victoria I instantly had to request it! I admit, I approached this with a little trepidation, because biographies sometimes drone on. Trust me when I tell you, this one does not. It is well-written in almost a conversation-style r ...more
Judy
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very readable, each chapter taking a significant date in her life. Lucy certainly brings history to life.
Louise
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, it was a great insight on to Queen Victoria's life. Its really easy to read.
Theresa Dunk
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book held my interest from start to finish. Lots of little stories I remember being passed down to me during my childhood, all true to the tale. Osbourne House in particular. Pity it did not mention Fort Albert which was a favourite playing ground of both V&A’s children and also mine.
Marie-Dom
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Riveting

I couldn't put this book down. Lucy Worsley creates a vivid picture of Victoria throughout her life. Brilliant research, beautifully written. Evocative. A wonderful portrait of a great queen and woman.
Kirsty
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this really fascinating and very much enjoyed it
Kristine
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Queen Victoria: Twenty Four Days That Changed Her Life by Lucy Worsley is a free NetGalley ebook that I read from late November into early December.

“How did she go from dancing princess to potato?”

True to its secondary title, there are specifically 24 referenced dates/days & places, each with its own chapter on how they affected Queen Victoria as a (true mostly to the original title) daughter, wife, mother, and widow. Worsley frames each moment not as a bland, droning historic researcher, bu
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Miriam
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this biography of Queen Victoria. I read so very much about Victorian culture and literature for my degree and for fun that it seemed strange that I had never read that much about the woman herself, so when I saw this book by Lucy Worsley (whose writing I love) I had to get it.
And there was a lot here which I hadn't known, so that was very interesting. Lucy Worsley does a great job of showing the reader Victoria's personal relationships with others, be that her family or her serv
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Alina
It was a very long book to start my 2019 reading year. However, Queen Victoria did live a very long and sensational life.

I've always admired Queen Victoria. England went thru many great changes during her reign. She is known as a woman who redefined British monarchy. Thankfully to this book, I've learned many new facts about Victoria. I was not aware of "baby race" prior to this book. And it was great to learn more about her parents, her relationship with uncle Leopold. And there were many new
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Marissa
Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, and Widow is a biography of the infamous English monarch told through events spanning twenty-four important days of her life. This was a very well researched account of Queen Victoria and includes details from her personal journals to allow the author to build a more personal biographical account of the monarch. I felt the author paid too much attention to detail to the supporting characters in her life. Throughout the book, paragraphs would be dedicated t ...more
Jill Meyer
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
British historian Lucy Worsley's new book, "Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life", is a well-written, comprehensive biography. Before I started to read the book, I supposed the "Twenty Four" days were a specific period of time, say, the time around her 18th birthday, and her ascension to throne soon after. But, the "Twenty Four" days were actually individual days, important to her and her reign. Her birth day, her wedding day, the death of Albert, are just a few of the days hig ...more
Helen Castle
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a pleasurable surprise. It was a gift and I approached it reluctantly as I am not a fan of Lucy Worsley on the telly. Whereas as a broadcaster, she can appear twee or even smug, she has an entirely natural voice as a writer. She has a talent for vivid description and is laugh out loud funny in her recounting of royal foibles. She assimilates a huge amount of research into a conversational gallop through Victoria’s life, captured in 24 chapters or discrete days in the life of. She c ...more
Monica
This book took me quite some time to read because of all the end notes! Also I kept getting distracted.

Having said that though, the book had an interesting premise, the 24 chapters focusing on a specific day of Queen Victoria's life (and pre-life LOL!), which gave a broad overview of her life and how she changed - and didn't change - over the decades.

Although the author didn't seem to care much for Prince Albert - my favourite :OP - I suppose I could see where she was coming from with that.
Emma Cannon
This is a great introduction to Queen Victoria for those who are looking to find out more about her life. Broken down into key days in over her life it cover events of significance in her personal and public life and encounters with other significant figures of the period. There is particular focus on her relationships with Prince Albert, her children and key servants. This isn't a work full of original resource, but it draws together lots of different aspects of Victoria's life and is very read ...more
Kate
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, library
This biography held my interest for the most part, the final three chapters dragged a bit for me. Worsely storytelling is quite compelling, a tad dramatic at times especially when I listened to the audiobook as well. Not a bad introduction to Victoria’s life (her parents’ life intrigued me most), though I can’t comment properly about Worsely’s historical analysis/interpretation of Queen Victoria’s life.
Janilyn Kocher
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worsley provides twenty four vignettes in Queen Victoria's life. She adds much material to supplement the chosen significant dates. Nothing earth shattering is revealed but readers do get a better sense of the woman behind the crown. I decour every book about Queen Victoria And reading this book was a pleasure. The author provides an extensive bibliography and notes at the end which were fun to peruse. The cover is gorgeous. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance read.
Carmen Lanero
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A delightful book. Easy to read, engaging and full of interesting facts about Queen Victoria. I recommend it if you are interested in this period of British History and in the Victorian era. The book describes 24 days of Victoria's life and it will help you understand her not only as a sovereign, but also as a daughter, mother and wife and how her early education influenced her decisions later on in life.
Reading with Cats
I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian era but have had a harder time with biographies of Queen Victoria herself. This one was a bit different. Instead of a detailed chronology, the author shares 24 snapshots of important events in the Queen’s life. I think this worked quite well here as there are an overwhelming amount of details available and a biographer (and reader) could easily get bogged down. A bit slow-moving at times, but I did enjoy this. 3.5 stars
Jessica
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley for a free e-ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!

This is one of my favourite books from Lucy Worsley! Queen Victoria can be an overwhelming and sometimes infuriating monarch to study; there is just so much to sift through. In addition to all of her own diaries and letters (which is staggering amount of sources to begin with), you then have surviving diaries and correspondence from those who came into contact with her, and then newspapers, court circulars, and coun
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Ant Koplowitz
This was an easy read, much anticipated, but a tad disappointing. Lucy Worsley's take on the iconic Queen Victoria is the latest in a long line of books on one of the most written about monarchs. I was expecting more from Worsley, although not sure why. Perhaps it's simply that there isn't really anything much left to say about Victoria.
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I was born in Reading (not great, but it could have been Slough), studied Ancient and Modern History at New College, Oxford, and I've got a PhD in art history from the University of Sussex.

My first job after leaving college was at a crazy but wonderful historic house called Milton Manor in Oxfordshire. Here I would give guided tours, occasionally feed the llamas, and look for important pieces of p
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