Victoria: The Queen

  • by Julia Baird
  • Narrated by Lucy Rayner
  • 21 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- K.D. Keenan "1emp"

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.

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- Leslie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-15-2016
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books