Victoria: A Life by AN Wilson

In The Times, Dalrymple reviews A.N. Wilson’s new biography of Victoria and likes it:

AN Wilson has written a sympathetic but by no means hagiographic biography of her that will probably overturn many people’s prejudiced conception of her.

Nowadays we tend to snigger a little at the statues of the plump and vastly overdressed woman on the plinth, as often as not crowned by a pigeon, holding the sceptre and the orb in front of a hundred town halls around the world. Our pomp of yesterday is now truly one with Nineveh and Tyre, and to compensate for our own comparative pettiness and low standing in the world we laugh at the absurdity of Victoria and her era. It takes some imagination to perceive Victoria as a human being rather than as an institution, and Wilson succeeds in helping us to do so.

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