This popular English biographer focuses on the family side of the British queen Victoria's long reign--or, as De-la-Noy himself so eloquently identifies his intended purview, "a deliberately non-chronological distillation of Queen Victoria's more personal life, her relations with her family, household and servants." Upon her birth, Victoria stood only fourth in line to the throne; how she succeeded to it, at age 18, is the stuff of good royal drama. And, too, succession to the throne at such a relatively young age gave her the power to throw off the inhibiting influence of her mother, to marry the man of her choosing (her handsome cousin Prince Albert), and to enjoy an exceptionally long tenure as monarch (the longest reign in English history). Her nine children's education and religious instruction are discussed, as are the queen's various royal residences. Biographies of this great lady abound, but this one stakes out its own territory, in the process making a valuable contribution to the popular literature on the long-reigning queen. Brad Hooper
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