“In the dazzled imagination of her subjects Victoria soared aloft towards the regions of divinity though a nimbus of purest glory. Criticism fell dumb; deficiencies which, twenty years earlier, would have been universally admitted, were now as universally ignored…”
The Queen Empress is the ultimate biographical challenge: a role to be taken on only at the apex of a literary career.
Ninety-five years ago, Lytton Strachey’s lucid and moving Queen Victoria set the standard.
It is fascinating to see Strachey starting off here in his usual acerbic vein, mocking the public adulation of an elderly Queen, but then himself falling under the spell of her unchanged and unaffected "vitality, conscientiousness, pride, and simplicity."
Strachey’s Queen Victoria has no false flattery or submission to his subject. The book is full of sly humour, mostly at the expense of the great and good of the period.
Queen Victoria is an expansive biography of Britain’s greatest monarch and reveals a passionate and humorous woman beneath the stiff exterior. The woman who emerges from these pages is as straightforward as a child and as complex as a cryptogram.
This is the definitive biography of Britain’s greatest monarch, who “was hailed at once as the mother of her people and as the embodied symbol of their imperial greatness.”
Here is the full panorama of Victoria's life, her childhood, her marriage to Albert, and her majestic domination of a colorful court circle. Strachey's flair for throwing "a sudden revealing searchlight into obscure recesses, hitherto undivined," places Queen Victoria as one of the literary landmarks of the twentieth century.
LYTTON STRACHEY (1880–1932) was a British author and critic. A founding member of the Bloomsbury Group and author of Eminent Victorians, he is best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit. His 1921 biography Queen Victoria was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
“One of the surpassingly beautiful prose achievements of our time.”
-Chicago Daily News
“A Brilliant Masterpiece.”