A portrait of Queen Victoria and the tumultuous Victorian era. Erickson seeks to reveal the inner contradictions of the resolut, high-minded, often cantankerous woman who became queen at the age of 18 and reigned until her death 64 years later. Victoria's early life shaped and toughened her, she learned to overcome severe emotional deprivation and ...Read MoreA portrait of Queen Victoria and the tumultuous Victorian era. Erickson seeks to reveal the inner contradictions of the resolut, high-minded, often cantankerous woman who became queen at the age of 18 and reigned until her death 64 years later. Victoria's early life shaped and toughened her, she learned to overcome severe emotional deprivation and adversity, so that when she became queen she brought to her role extraordinary strength and resilience.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-12-30 A brief biography written in gushy style, with clich?s to match, Her Little Majesty-the title is apparently ironic in several senses-is a portrayal of the queen who, at the close of her reign, was "almost as broad as she was long." Erickson (Bloody Mary) has apparently put her book together from other books, with no new documentation and with errors emerging as early as the second page. One discovers there that Victoria was the only living legitimate heir to the throne in her generation, although she had two male cousins of her age, each a Prince George. Erickson also has a tendency to put thoughts-often total irrelevancies-into the heads of her characters: "But of course she could not go to [live in] Australia, for Albert would not have gone with her, and she needed Albert desperately." Fictional devices proliferate: "The baby slept on, and her mother, feeling safer than she had in months...." The biography is most striking in undoing the fawning portraiture of artistic flatterers ("Beneath her layers of fat, her lined face and heavy round cheeks") and in exploiting at length costume and fashion over the Victorian decades to exemplify social change. That strategy may also serve to keep some readers turning pages to learn about "lemon bosoms" and "bustle pads." Entire years escape the narrative, but Erickson has a knack for plucking pithy quotes, and the essentials of the queen's life are often deftly set out. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC, QPB and History Book Club alternates. (Mar.)
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