Queen Victoria / Edition 1

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Dead for little more than one hundred years, Queen Victoria has already been the subject of more biographies than any other woman born since 1800. This newest biography from a well known historian is justified and distinguished by the incorporation of recent research on often-neglected aspects of her life and reign, as well as its relative brevity. Including much of Victoria's own writings from journals and letters, Arnstein takes a thorough look at her personal life and religious views, but also investigates her public role such as her involvement with Britain's army, her political initiatives and her connections with Ireland. The author's solid understanding of Victorian society and its relationship to the queen gives this book a solidarity missing in other biographies of the queen. The book provides enough economic, social, cultural and political background knowledge to make this book accessible even to readers unfamiliar with her now distant world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Provides a well-rounded portrait of the queen while at the same time highlighting relatively little known aspects of her life...This is a sharply observed and excellently written book." --History Today

"Wise, based on extensive research, and blissfully concise, Queen Victoria is richly illuminating on both her political and personal life. For scholars, students, as well as those who enjoy a good read, this is a book to be savored."--Peter Stansky, Stanford University

"For readers seeking a compact life of Queen Victoria, this biography is just the thing." --The Historian

"The greatest strength of this particular treatment of Victoria's life is that it is useful for a wide audience. Experts will read it with informed pleasure. General readers will be fascinated by the almost endless array of pageant and drama that was nineteenth century Britain, presented in a seemingly effortless style." -- History: Reviews of New Books

"The book is not too long yet is rich in information about Victoria's personal life and about her reign."--Sally Weeks, Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette

"His book is distinguished by its fairness and cogency."--Brad Hooper, Booklist

"The book amply reflects Professor Arnstein's deep knowledge of the Victorian era--the product of many years of teaching and research. Consequently the activities of Victoria and her circle are not just ably narrated but also clearly contextualized." -- English Historical Review

"The first royal biography written by a professional historian...and as such is an outstanding and pioneering example of how historically-informed royal biography can--and should--be written for the modern period." -- David Cannadine, University of London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780333638071
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/11/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 418,789
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter L. Arnstein is Professor Emeritus of History and Jubilee Professor Emeritus of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
• Acknowledgements
• Preface
• Introduction
• The Cloistered Princess
• The Royal Teenager
• The Model of Domesticity
• The Reigning Partner
• Britain's Champion
• The Reclusive Widow
• The Guardian of the Constitution
• The Imperial Matriarch
• The Paradoxical Monarch
• Appendices
• Select Bibliography
• Index

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Customer Reviews

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( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2004

    'Queen Victoria' Takes the Crown

    'Queen Victoria' written by Walter L. Arnstein provides a peek into yesterday for today's readers. 'Queen Victoria' was the reigning monarch in England from 1837 to 1901 and was the center of much hype in her day. Among the subjects it touches on are Victoria's life pre-coronation, her romantic life and her role in the government. Arnstein incorporates the misgivings of past Victorian authors and lights his insight on her life through their research and his own investigations. Queen Victoria's diaries are displayed throughout the ten chapters and it gives the reader a feeling that they are getting to know her, making one not help but be interested. Although the book was focused on Queen Victoria, it seemed to wander every now and then and spotlight other political figures of her day that assisted her or were involved with her Parliament. I found the mini-biographies on the other political figures quite tedious and I did not see what their purpose was in the book and it distracted me from learning about the queen herself. Although I did not care for the memoirs of the Parliamentary notables, I did like the way Victoria's life was presented. It was extremely interesting to hear that the life she stood for was not at all what she had. Victoria's view on family life and on women's places in society was seen as new and ideal to the public, yet her own family would have been seen as immoral to her community. My favorite aspect of Arnstein's writing style is the way he incorporated Victoria's diary. It was very fascinating to not just read the author's point of view of the subject. The diary was nearly essential for this book to be significant, for there are so many other books about her. 'Queen Victoria' highlights Victoria's relationships in a spectacular way. Victoria's supposed affairs and political romances are explicitly displayed and make room for the reader to make their own conclusions. Arnstein admitted to not knowing himself whether or not Victoria's political relationships were anything more than political but he also stated that there were many rumors circulating that Victoria's relationships were more than just discussion about England's well-being. One aspect of the book that I truly felt unnecessary was the 11-page introduction. The book already had a preface, so I do not believe that an introduction was needed. The introduction could easily have been mistaken as a summary of the book tied in with the author's criticisms of past books also written on Queen Victoria. Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed 'Queen Victoria''s inspiring account of the life of one of the most influential people of the nineteenth century.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    QUEEN VICTORIA, The last Hanoverian Monarch

    I am one of the very few lucky to have recieved this book from Prof. Walter Arnstein himself, two years after its publication. I am from the Philippines and have never thought that my very humble request would merit the profesor's attention, and send me an autographed copy of his book on the Queen. More than that, Prof. Arnstein sent me a four volume History of the British empire. These five books have been a treasure to me, since. I have read Lady Longford's biography of Queen Victoria, which is a staple among the queen's fans before, and have longed to read more about her. I know that next to the Virgin Mary, Queen Victoria is the most written about woman in history.
    Prof. Arntein's rendition of the queen is for me, essential for modern readers. He has treated the queen's portrait with utmost care in research as well as in prose. Unlike most of Queen Victoria's biography, this one is devoid of the fussy stuff that either confuse or bore the reader. The short and concise presentation makes the book a page turner in itself. The treatment of the chapters is such that the most important details fit to the few pages. I have read this book three times and it has never bore me. The chapter on the crimean war is worth the excitement and thrill for me. i have tried to lend the book to teenagers in my area and I am glad that after reading it, they have grown an interest to the queen, unlike the other works they encountered.
    Queen Victoria lived in an era too distant from us, but she was every inch a human being full of emotion and love. Her dynasty-the hanoverians-might had a problem of heirs to the throne but when Victoria came in, they were practically the pillar of the European monarchs, since. Queen Victoria is indeed the grandmother of Europe.
    For all serious, liesure and interested modern readers, thhis book is a must read. Prof. Arnstein's bibliography is excellently exhaustive and from it one can find other books on the queen that you might want to read more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 7, 2010

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    Posted May 23, 2010

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    Posted February 4, 2010

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