Paula Bartley’s Queen Victoria examines Victorian Britain from the perspective of the Queen. Victoria’s personal and political actions are discussed in relation to contemporary shifts in Britain’s society, politics and culture, examining to what extent they did – or did not – influence events throughout her reign.

Drawing from contemporary sources, including Queen Victoria’s own diaries, as well as the most recent scholarship, the book contextualises Victoria historically by placing her in the centre of an unparalleled period of innovation and reform, in which the social and political landscape of Britain, and its growing empire, was transformed. Balancing Victoria’s private and public roles, it will examine the cultural paradox of the Queen’s rule in relation to the changing role of women: she was a devoted wife, prolific mother and obsessive widow, who was also Queen of a large Empire and Empress of India.

Marrying cultural history, gender history and other histories ‘from below’ with high politics, war and diplomacy, this is a concise and accessible introduction to Queen Victoria’s life for students of Victorian Britain and the British Empire.

chapter |17 pages


chapter 1|21 pages

Becoming Victoria: 1819–1837

chapter 2|25 pages

The young queen: 1837–1840

chapter 3|23 pages

Leisure, love and family: 1837–1844

chapter 4|35 pages

Revolutionary times: 1840–1851

chapter 5|23 pages

Victoria and motherhood: 1842–1861

chapter 7|26 pages

Life after Albert: 1861–1868

chapter 10|28 pages

The last years: 1892–1901