Queen Victoria, a woman of diminutive stature and superabundant temperament, gave her name to something more than an age. Elizabeth Longford's classic biography won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize when it was first published in 1964. The author's grasp of the era's politics, and her understanding of the problems which confront a woman who is not only a queen but also a mother of a large high-spirited family, make this book unique to this day. The young queen is shown tormented by an unhappy childhood, enraptured by a love-match (on both sides), and tantalised by an all too brief period of happy marriage. In Part II the Queen's renowned qualities emerge, alongside some surprising traits which present her in a fresh and thoroughly human light. And by her side, a galaxy of colourful personalities crowd these pages; Melbourne and Flora Hastings, Gladstone and Disraeli, John Brown and the Munshi, Lord Salisbury and the Kaiser.
Elizabeth Longford's affectionate portrait shows, above all, how an iron sense of duty impelled a secluded widow to rule her Empire as a mother, her family as a queen.
Elizabeth Pakenham CBE (otherwise known as Elizabeth Longford) was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a lifelong socialist, and the author of several hugely acclaimed biographies. She wrote a celebrated two-volume biography of Wellington, and biographies of Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. Victoria was her second book.
She had eight children with her husband Frank Pakenham, among them historians Lady Antonia Fraser and Thomas Pakenham. She died on 23 October 2002.