Queen Victoria: A legacy worth reading about

Spencer Wright, Herald Contributor

Julia Baird’s book, “Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire,” delves into the life of England’s second longest reigning monarch. 

This book looks at the prime ministers who helped shape the nation’s policies and explores the ramifications that came from Victoria marrying most of her children into Europe’s royal houses. 

At the height of her 63 year reign, Queen Victoria ruled over a quarter of the world’s population with an empire that stretched across the globe. Baird’s book acts as a time machine, bringing readers back to an age of uncertainty and doubt. It was an era framed by a woman who was crowned queen at only 18 years old.

Readers will feel the excitement of the Great Exhibition, which showcased the latest technological marvels of the 19th century. They’ll experience the exhilaration and fear of the young soldiers heading off to war or being stationed in a new colony. Not only this, but readers will also endure the fear of Queen Victoria’s assassination attempts as well as her aims to govern her country. 

Baird leaves just enough room in the book to talk about Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, and gives readers a solid picture of the man who, from his birth, was in line to marry her. Unfortunately, readers may be saddened by his death, but there is more to come. At the end of the book, Baird accomplishes a master stroke of writing by tying in an epilogue that leads straight into the 20th century and the future of the British Empire. 

If you want a book that is impossible to put down, then you need to read this one. The length is 770 pages. While it can be long for people who are not accustomed to reading history books, it is worth sticking with. You will come away feeling greatly rewarded.