Regular price: $31.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

When Victoria was born in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would threaten many of Europe's monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the public's expense, and republican sentiment was growing. The Industrial Revolution was transforming the landscape, and the British Empire was commanding ever larger tracts of the globe. In a world where women were often powerless, during a century roiling with change, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand.

Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. As a girl, she defied her mother's meddling and an adviser's bullying, forging an iron will of her own. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown and relished the freedom it brought her. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security - queen of a quarter of the world's population at the height of the British Empire's reach.

©2016 Julia Baird (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"With impeccable phrasing and a voice rich with the style and color of nineteenth-century England, narrator Lucy Rayner captures the essence of Queen Victoria.... A bravura performance!" ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    261
  • 4 Stars
    101
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    247
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    244
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Engaging and Informative

A well-written biography of a rather misunderstood woman. Victorian has come to imply prudishness, but the queen was actually fairly broad minded. She was more sentimental than anything else. The author shows how Victoria played a pivotal role in the political landscape of her age and also exposes her frailties. The queen emerges as a very real and human figure, a woman surprisingly unpretentious and free of prejudice for her time. The major flaw in the book is the author's tendency to write about how Victoria thought or felt or wondered, which is not something for which there is any possible evidence. Or to describe how Lord Whoever drove through the streets, naming the types of people or happenings as he drove by--again, pure fiction. I found this annoying and condescending, as though the reader can't be persuaded to keep reading unless the facts are tarted up with fiction.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great book with a ghastly narrator.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator! She reads every single sentence with the same rhythm -- beginning with a high-pitched, shrill tone, and then dropping the sound to almost normal, only to begin the next sentence with the same shrill pitch again. Monotonous and off-putting.

What did you like best about this story?

Details about Queen Victoria -- her family, her personality, her flaws. Details about English society at that time.

How could the performance have been better?

Someone reading with a normal voice. The entire performance was like someone speaking at a microphone, shrieking at a crowd.

Any additional comments?

I wish Audible would be more selective with readers. Some are SO good; others simply spoil the entire experience.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Her daughter's bane was HELENA not Eleanor

The book was good, but some mis pronunciations made by the performer became annoying. The one that just irritated me sbove all was how she pronounced Helena as Eleanor - just odd and altogether wrong.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

narrater was annoying when she changed her voice.

Narrater used inflections that were very annoying-lowering her voice to pretend to be a man!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • Bryn Mawr, PA, United States
  • 02-06-17

worst reader ever

It is hard to believe that any editor agreed to inflict this reader on an eager listener. Lucy Raynor reads in that sing-song voice that English aristocrats favor: sentences starting in a high register and loud, ending in a low pitched and very soft register, so that the 1st half of every sentence is jarring and the 2nd half indistinguishable. (At least with her low pseudo-male voices, you can hear her!) Maybe appropriate for an English tea or garden party, but exhausting to an American ear. Too bad, because it's a good story (what a listener can make of it). The section on the coronation (what I could make of it) was riveting. A major disappointment for an Anglophile. Maybe I will go and actually read A.N. Wilson's bio of Victoria.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a wonderful, inspiring journey

i hung on every word of this loving portrait of a woman and her age.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sanaz
  • bellevue wa
  • 06-25-18

Interesting character

I was not a fan of this queen, so week and traditional. The book is good though, and the narrator does a great job.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • MG
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 06-10-18

Had hoped for more

This is a very disappointing biography. I don’t know if that is due to the historical records from which the story was researched, or if the author chose to minimalize the Queen and repeat many times opinions of the Queen’s appearance, weight, moodiness, fashion sense, attitudes towards motherhood, opinions of her grandchildren’s appearance, speculation on her intimate life, etc. The reader also chose to quote the Queen often in a very pouty tone, which further minimalized the Monarch. Light on history, heavy on soap opera drama. This is a very long 30+ hours. It forces me to read another biography Of Queen Victoria. Perhaps this is the best any biographer can do, but I am forced to find out.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

The book is good but the narration is so distractingly terrible that I find myself unable to continue listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I learned so much!

t's hard to imagine the historical force that was Victoria, even when reading such a thorough biography as this. Julia Baird brings Victoria's personality alive while simultaneously weaving her story through history. There are so many tidbits contained in these pages, from Victoria's obsession with Albert that resulted in her casting his hands after his death, to realizing that Kaiser Wilhelm was her grandson and was present at her death. Victoria is portrayed as a royal and as a mother, as a political force and as a doting wife. Baird does a wonderful job of moving the story forward to the final page. I highly recommend this for those who love reading biography.

The performance was well done; the author with a nice British accent that brought Victoria to life. Male characters were less effective and the deepening of the voice to indicate quotes was a bit annoying. Overall, it was fine and didn't detract from the story..