We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Victoria Audiobook

Victoria: A Life

Regular Price:£42.79
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

To many Queen Victoria was a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique, portrayed as an aging, stiff widow. But in truth Britain's longest-reigning monarch was passionate, expressive, humorous, and unconventional.

A. N. Wilson's exhaustively researched and definitive biography includes a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources, showing us Queen Victoria as she's never been seen before. Wilson explores the circumstances that led to Victoria's coronation, her isolated childhood, her passionate marriage to Prince Albert, and her widowhood, all set against the backdrop of this momentous epoch in world history.

©2015 A.N. Wilson (P)2015 Oakhill Publishing

What the Critics Say

"[A] splendid biography--this book is a gem: thoughtful, witty, insightful, striking a balance between political commentary and personal gossip.... As this terrific biography shows, there really was a human being behind the gloomy portraits." (Dominic Sandbrook, Evening Standard)

"Subtle, thoughtful...a shimmering and rather wonderful biography." (Kathryn Hughes, Guardian)

"Wilson is affectionately alert to the rich contradictions of his subject's personality, and his deliciously readable biography becomes increasingly fascinating as Victoria's reign unfolds." (Jane Shilling, Daily Mail Book of the Week)

"Wilson is an excellent history teacher. He orders and narrates the hugely complex socio-political events and party infighting of the 19th century with a rare clarity.... His own achievement, sustained by a lifetime's scholarly fascination with the Victorian era, is also in its way, awesome." (John Sutherland, Financial Times)

"A. N. Wilson has written a sympathetic but by no means hagiographic biography of her that will probably overturn many people's prejudiced conception of her.... Wilson's picture of her is a rounded one, with her vices and virtues." (Theodore Dalrymple, The Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (23 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.4 (20 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.4 (21 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    iris Paris, France 02/06/2015
    iris Paris, France 02/06/2015 Member Since 2015

    I love history, crime and thrillers, biographies and almost anything by the BBC.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    469
    97
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ambitious biography - absorbing listen"

    One can only admire the scholarship and research that the author must have undertaken to write this biography. The author is also to be praised for his distance from his subject which allows him to present her in a fair way - non-judgemental. The downside is the fact that Victoria reigned for so many years and during her reign England changed at a phenomenal pace from a relatively rural country with a few highly developed towns into a network of ever-expanding urban developments, such that it is hard to write her biography without making choices as to what to develop and what to gloss over so that inevitably some readers might feel there are gaps. At the same time England was involved in overseas expansion and becoming one of the most powerful imperialist nations and throughout her reign Britain was more or less involved in military action on various scales - skirmishes to wars. The Irish question was another burning topic in the later years of her reign and also the growth of a labour movement. Meanwhile Victoria was also a private person with a large family and her relations by ties of marriage to other crowned heads of Europe was very extensive. The author has such a wealth of material it is perhaps overambitious to write a chronological biography of such a figure. Considering how daunting the task is A.N. Wilson has done a masterly job. I felt rather frustrated at times because some subjects had to be glossed over to keep the book to a manageable length. I think I would prefer books that take a more single subject focus such as Victoria's private life or Victoria and her Prime Ministers.
    On the whole I would reccommend this book to anyone with some prior knowledge of the socio-political background to the era but it might be rather arduous for someone who is ignorant of the period.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Viney 07/10/2015
    Kevin Viney 07/10/2015 Member Since 2015

    lazy book lovers paradise - thank you Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring and edifying"

    An excellent biography and reading of Queen Victoria addressing the many aspects of her life and reign.

    Well read throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PT 15/06/2015
    PT 15/06/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Myth buster history"

    This gives an insight into the myth of the widow of Windsor. A much more complex and far less benign person than folklore would have us believe. A very detailed history of the turbulent times as well as the personal history of Victoria. It makes you glad to call yourself an Elizabethan!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z. M. Snarey UK 25/01/2016
    Z. M. Snarey UK 25/01/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Victoria and her times in history"

    Well written and well read fascinating account of the life and times of Queen Victoria.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cat 19/07/2015
    Cat 19/07/2015 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring and very disappointing"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Was really looking forward to this book but instead of focusing on her life it was detail-less and generic. The speaker read in a monotone and it made me fall asleep and lose where I was. Didn't even finish it.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't bother with this. Some excellent historical biographies out there. This wasn't one of them alas.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Robyn
    Modbury, Australia
    12/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful A N Wilson"

    I have nothing but the highest praise for this biography. Victoria and her reign are interesting, of course, but Wilson's scholarship and writing are exemplary and bring the Queen and her family and household right into your life. Whether you know the story of Victoria or are new to her or to English history, this book is essential. Just read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.