In 1837 Victoria came to the throne at the age of eighteen, a pretty girl not five feet tall, to preside over what was, perhaps, the most momentous period in British history. During the 64 years of her reign she saw thrones fall, empires crumble, new continents explored and mapped, while her own country became the most powerful, richest and most highly developed nation in the world. For generations the stubborn, vital woman who was seen as the epitome of this time has fascinated all who read of her.
Christopher Hibbert's biography deals with all aspects of the Queen's life, personality and times, her relations with her large and widespread family, her "wicked uncles" and their wives and mistresses, and with the politicians, prime ministers and foreign statesmen and monarchs of her day - from her opinionated grandson, the Kaiser, to the Emperor Napoleon III with whom she fell rather in love. The book describes her married life and her failings as a mother, her love of food and gossip, her strange relationships with her Indian and Scottish servants, and her influence on the manners, morals and outlook of the age to which she gave her name.