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Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire
Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire | Julia Baird
115 posts | 49 read | 9 reading | 211 to read
The true story for fans of the PBS Masterpiece series Victoria, this page-turning biography reveals the real woman behind the myth: a bold, glamorous, unbreakable queen--a Victoria for our times. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, this stunning new portrait is a story of love and heartbreak, of devotion and grief, of strength and resilience.NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY JANET MASLIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES - ESQUIRE - THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY "Victoria the Queen, Julia Baird's exquisitely wrought and meticulously researched biography, brushes the dusty myth off this extraordinary monarch."--The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) 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. At twenty, she fell passionately in love with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. After the death of her adored Albert, she began a controversial, intimate relationship with her servant John Brown. She survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. 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. Drawing on sources that include fresh revelations about Victoria's relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, losing parents, combating anxiety and self-doubt, finding an identity, searching for meaning. Praise for Victoria: The Queen "Fascinating."--Vogue "In Baird's deft portrayal, Victoria lives, breathes, and struts before us in all her complexity. . . . On a geopolitical level, Baird's sweeping historical portrait also illuminates just how interconnected the European royal families were during this time. . . . Historical astuteness aside, the pages gallop along enhanced by titillating morsels of info."--Esquire "A vivid portrait of one of England's longest-reigning monarchs."--Entertainment Weekly "[A] success from start to finish . . . [Baird's] Victoria is a vivid, visceral creature."--The Christian Science Monitor "Like the best biographers, Baird writes like a novelist, and her book is crammed with irresistible detail and description."--The Seattle Times
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Lizpixie
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#BookMail Pt5 Finally for this stack of mail is this behemoth of a non fiction about Queen Victoria. It was actually my dad who recommended this to me, he said it was one of the best biographies he‘s ever read, and he‘s read a lot. Written by Sydney journalist Julia Baird, it uses historical documents & first person accounts to give a very frank account of the long lived queens life, including material that the Palace tried to stop her using.👸🏻

MellieAntoinette Lovely cover! 6d
44 likes1 comment
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Joanster5
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Pickpick

Had fun finishing this today. I learned a lot about the Queen. I read it for the ATY challenge prompt #34 a book with a person‘s name in the title.
#ATY2019
#aroundtheworldin52books

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balletbookworm
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Pickpick

Baird has done a remarkable job reconstructing the inner life of a woman whose family and official biographers tried to mold into the myth she had become. Victoria was remarkably contradictory in her views, believing that she had the right to tell her ministers what to do and shape foreign policy yet felt inferior to her husband and didn‘t believe in women‘s suffrage, etc. (which I was surprised to learn). A book I picked up at BEA 2016.

balletbookworm The audiobook narrator was dreadfully slow - I had the speed kicked up to 2.25x by the end - and had terrible German pronunciation. 6mo
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CouronneDhiver
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CouronneDhiver
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Librarybelle I loved this book! 6mo
Lcsmcat I loved this book. I think it is balanced between her greatness and her weaknesses. Are you enjoying it? 6mo
CouronneDhiver Yep! I always love biographies but especially royal ones! @Lcsmcat 6mo
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CouronneDhiver
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JennyM Wow! 6mo
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Birdsong28
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Pickpick

Very good. Enjoyed reading all about a well known figure in a different light. Recommend. Thank you #NetGalley for the proof copy.

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jckphnx
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Pickpick

Baird's meticulous biography of the Grandmother of Europe helps distinguish the woman from the legend, revealing Victoria to be just as complicatedly human as the rest of us while providing immersive context of Victoria's world, how it shaped her, and how she shaped it.

Linsy A great bio! 👍 10mo
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LittleMummyMe
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"She was ready.
But when Victoria first sat on the throne, her feet did not touch the floor. Below the soaring arches of Westminster Abbey, she was a mere dot, burning under the curious gaze of the gathered crowd, trying not to dangle her legs. Thousands thronged the streets of London before sunrise, hoping to claim a vantage point from which to glimpse Britain's new queen, who was just eighteen years of age and less than five feet tall."

LittleMummyMe Part of today's kindle daily deal. I can buy it for $2.99 or borrow from the library 🤔 decisions, decisions... 11mo
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Linsy
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Pickpick

This bio will strip away those rose-colored glasses.

Victoria was a great woman, but her reign oversaw great horrors and tragedy, not least of which were glorified colonialism and rampant poverty.

Although she enjoyed a place at the table, she didn‘t believe other women should share the privilege. She did, however, advocate for their physical wellbeing. That was a very different time, but still.

And there‘s so much more!!

#bookreview #history

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Lcsmcat
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My go-to for #booksetinaqueendom, although any British novel from the last ~70 years would work too. 😀 #julyinbooks18 @bookisglee

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Insightsintobooks
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On sale for 1.99
#kindledeal

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monalyisha
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Mehso-so

Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years, 7 months, & 2 days. She lived for 81 years. I felt like I listened to this audiobook for *at least* that long. I admit, it was an ambitious undertaking for me; non-fic is not my preferred genre & this is an IN-DEPTH biography (at 21+ hours). But it could have been shorter! It was repetitive & contained many extraneous words (I wanted to take a red pen to every instance of “though”)! But I did learn a lot. 🤷‍♀️

TrishB 😂😂 that‘s a long listen!! 1y
monalyisha @TrishB I feel like I really accomplished something! 😅 1y
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Grrlbrarian
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Not part of @DeweysReadathon but delighted to spend some time with Victoria. Fascinating queen, well-written bio. I deplore getting up early, but a good read takes out some of the sting!

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Grrlbrarian
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1. Done! SO GOOD ❤️
2. They caught the fellow from my hometown that shot up the Waffle House in TN. The whole town is relieved he‘s caught but horrified at the (preventable) tragedy.
3. Nope! Going to senior Game Design daughter‘s capstone & internship demo show
4. What did the Buddha say when he walked into a pizza parlor? “Make me one with everything.” This is an awful joke, I‘m sorry, that my Pipe Sergeant told me.
5. Will do!
#friyayintro

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Librarybelle
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Congratulations to @IheartYA for reaching the 15,000 Litfluence milestone, and thank you for this #15kgiveaway ! And, thank you for the tag, @SilversReviews !

1. Top 3 most anticipated books: The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, and In Search of Mary Shelley by Fiona Sampson

2. Tagged book - great Queen Victoria bio!!

3. @erista @ferskner @ErinGoBragh1011

SilversReviews Those sound like good books. Thanks for sharing. 1y
LiteraryinLititz The first 2 books you mentioned are also 2 of MY most anticipated books! Sounds like I need to look up the 3rd, which I‘ve never heard of. ☺️ 1y
Librarybelle @SilversReviews ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
Librarybelle @LiteraryinLititz Wow! I was actually looking at upcoming books tonight and saw the Mary Shelley one I listed. The author is a poet, so it intrigued me - a poet writing a biography. Lots of interesting looking Shelley books and Frankenstein books coming out for the 200th anniversary this year. 1y
SilversReviews @Librarybelle 😎😎♥️♥️ 1y
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monalyisha
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“She was so bored, she nearly unlearned laughing.”

😅😂😆 Love this phrase!

emilyhaldi And the perfect visual to go with it 😆🖤 1y
MeganAnn Love this! 😍 1y
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DivineDiana
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Thank you for the tag @rohit-sawant !
1. Couldn‘t decide between Wonder Woman (another Diana) or Elizabeth Bennett (everyone‘s favorite), so I chose Queen Victoria. I fancy it would be lovely to live in a palace and have a love like Albert.
2. I don‘t have a knack for remembering quotes (although I greatly admire those who can!), so the best I can do is The Wizard of Oz.
3. Taking a trip to New York or a used bookstore.
4. Someone new: @Suleika

JenlovesJT47 💚💚💚 1y
Suleika ♥️ 1y
Reggie I‘ll get you my pretty!!!(cackles)-I don‘t think we‘re in Kansas anymore Toto-If I only had a brain- Totally quotable. 1y
DivineDiana @Reggie There‘s no place like home! ❤️ 1y
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BeckyMerilatt
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1. Most recently cried my eyes out when Prince Albert died in the Victoria biography. Does he count as a character? Obviously, I knew it was coming...
2. Plaid
3. I‘m almost embarrassed to say that I prefer my fries without any embellishment. Not even ketchup. Just salt. So much salt. 🍟
4. I grew up saying pop and then decided that I prefer the sound of soda. 🥤 🤦🏼‍♀️

Johanna414 I‘m the same way with the fries! I do like both gravy and cheese, but prefer them plain. Also, I have a bit of a French fry addiction... 1y
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BeckyMerilatt
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Pickpick

By some miracle I managed to finish this massive chronicle of Queen Victoria‘s life. I‘m not a huge reader of nonfiction - although I plan to branch out more this year - but I loved this book. It was surprisingly easy to read, full of history, politics, and fascinating people, and heartbreak. Definitely worth a read.

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BeckyMerilatt
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Just over here bawling my eyes out while reading about a guy who died 157 years ago. 😭😭😭 RIP Prince Albert.

rubyslippersreads I need to read this. 👑 1y
BeckyMerilatt @rubyslippersreads I am loving it. And I‘m not a big nonfiction reader. I‘ll review it when I‘m done, but I can already tell you it‘s getting 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. 1y
Suet624 Awwww....😩😩😩❤️❤️ 1y
ReadingRuby Oh Albert 😍 I just listened to Victoria: a Life by A N Wilson on audible which was really good too 1y
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BeckyMerilatt
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Those rare and precious moments when they play so well together that I‘m able to read a couple chapters in my book... 🙌🏻

Chelsea.Poole LOVE matching pjs! What‘s the age difference? I have two boys who are two years apart. 9 months old & the other is 2 years and 9 months old. 😊 1y
BeckyMerilatt @Chelsea.Poole Mine are just over two years apart. It‘s so fun! Also hard, but getting easier all the time. 1y
Chelsea.Poole @BeckyMerilatt sooo glad to hear it gets easier!! 😅 1y
See All 8 Comments
UrsulaMonarch @BeckyMerilatt @Chelsea.Poole looking forward to this... mine are almost 2 months & almost 2.5 years! 😂 (enjoying now too) 1y
BeckyMerilatt @UrsulaMonarch @Chelsea.Poole For me, that first year with 2 was absolutely brutal. Lol. It does get easier!! It‘s a serious game changer when they start playing together. 1y
Chelsea.Poole @BeckyMerilatt @UrsulaMonarch it‘s so crazy because they already somewhat play together...and roughhouse!! I had no idea a 9 month old could roughhouse, but little Max can definitely hold his own!! Makes me worried for the future state of our house. 🤪😳 1y
UrsulaMonarch @Chelsea.Poole 😂...Had NOT considered that!! 😳 1y
minkyb Too adorable! 1y
102 likes8 comments
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BeckyMerilatt
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The best way to spend the half hour before my shift at work. #currentlyreading

mjdowens I loved this book! 1y
Jennifer3 Love this photo! 1y
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amie
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Pickpick

This is not an enthusiastic pick, but it wasn't bad. I did not like the narrator of the audiobook and there were some instances of the author dramatizing events, which is something I dislike in nonfiction. Luckily that didn't happen too often, and Queen Victoria is definitely an interesting person to learn about.

#litsyatoz #letterV

BarbaraTheBibliophage I liked this book a lot. But, man, it was long! Just like Victoria‘s life. 1y
amie @BarbaraTheBibliophage it is long! It took me two weeks to listen to the whole thing, even with the speed turned up to 1.5x and 1.75x. It never takes me that long to listen to an audiobook! 1y
51 likes2 comments
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Lcsmcat
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#17in2017 @Cinfhen There was only room for 16 photos, but the tagged book makes 17. This was kind of like being asked to name your favorite child . . . Thanks for the tag @jdtchicago

Loric ❤️Tell the Wolves I'm Home 2y
jdtchicago I‘m still creeped out years later by the serial killer in devil in the white city. 2y
Hollie @Loric me, too! 2y
See All 8 Comments
Cinfhen Oooh, lots of Atwood!!! I LOVED 2y
Cinfhen I'm curious about 2y
Lcsmcat @Loric @Hollie Me too! (edited) 2y
Lcsmcat @Cinfhen Blind Assassin is amazing! I‘ve not read an Atwood book I didn‘t like, and I‘ve read quite a few. Cat‘s Eye is about art and friendship, “mean girls” and bullying, and memories and perception. Check it out. 2y
mgallo1968 DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, LUCY BARTON, TELL THE WOLVES 👍👍👍 2y
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amie
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I started this thinking I could knock out a difficult letter for #litsyatoz right away, but I'm not sure what I think of it. I am definitely more intrigued about Victoria's life just from the little I've listened to, but I don't like the narrator and I don't care for the writing style. But I want to know more about her! I'll give it a little more time before I bail.

Birdsong28 This might be better for you. 2y
amie @Birdsong28 thanks! I'm going to take a look at the one by Wilson and see if it might be more to my taste in case I bail on this one. 2y
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Mamashep
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Also, this is only $2.99! So great!

annahenke Picked this up for myself this morning! 2y
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rebeccavoy
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rebeccavoy
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Pickpick

I‘m not usually a big reader of biographies, as I often find them a little dry and long winded. But despite the whopping 752 page word count, the same can not be said of this work about Queen Victoria. Granted, I am partial to royalty, but this was engaging, insightful and even witty at times. Highly recommended!

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rebeccavoy
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Pickpick

I‘m not usually a big reader of biographies, as I often find them a little dry and long winded. But despite the whopping 752 page word count, the same can not be said of this work about Queen Victoria. Granted, I am partial to royalty, but this was engaging, insightful and even witty at times. Highly recommended!

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BooksAtNight
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Pickpick

I really loved this audiobook! It was engaging, fun, and really gave me insights into Victoria as a woman instead of just the queen. The narrator (Lucy Rayner) was great too!

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Joanne1
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My most reliable #travel companion, my kindle. Great for Christmas holiday travel or any other variety. And the tagged book I intend to read on the beach this January.
#reindeerreads

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MallenNC
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I'm so happy with my #totebagswap. I waited so I could have it to look forward to at the end of the day! Thank you, @aroc for being so thoughtful! I can't wait to read all three of the books. The tote bag and extras are great too, right down to the tea tucked into the side pocket. Thank you to @cobwebmoth for organizing this swap. This was my first one, and it was a great experience!

aroc Hi @MallenNC ! I am so glad! Enjoy! 2y
MallenNC @aroc You did great! Thank you!!! 2y
aroc 😁😁😁😁😁 2y
JoeStalksBeck Omg I love that tote 2y
MallenNC @JoeStalksBeck It's such a true statement on it! Never too many books. 2y
28 likes5 comments
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BooksAtNight
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Finally starting this chunkster on audiobook. Anyone else prefer longer books in the cold months?

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nrheckel
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Feeling ambitious on my lunch break today

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BookishRedhead
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Didn't expect it to be this big lol

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melissajayne
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Excellent read. One interesting bit about Victoria is that she hated wearing corsets and wouldn't wear them a lot after about 1867, because she found them very uncomfortable. And despite the fact that she was queen, she was a beacon for those wanting women's suffrage, despite she herself not liking it.

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melissajayne
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Onto the final part of this amazing biography of Queen Victoria.

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melissajayne
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#beachread still working on the book, but it is getting closer to the end. Such an amazing woman. #queenvictoria #royalty #19thcentury #biography #19thcenturywomen #greatbritain #librarybooks

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melissajayne
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Wonder what happened to Anethesia and wonder if it was male or female.

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melissajayne
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Of the millions of people who filed past these creations, staring at them in wonder, very few comprehended how much these mechanisms would transform their lives in the decades to come.

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melissajayne
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Wow. 😳

mdbstar12 Some of those inventions would amaze me today! A bed that turns into a suitcase?? 2y
melissajayne Yep. 2y
melissajayne I would want the floating deck chairs. 2y
charissharpe I'd quite like my own charvoulant... 2y
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mboots
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Pickpick

I found this biography very interesting. It also shattered what I thought of Queen Victoria and especially of Prince Albert and their legacies.

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ladyclassics
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Pickpick

Wow, finishing this book was so bittersweet. I couldn't put it down, but never wanted it to end at the same time! What a thoughtful, well-researched, intimate portrait of Queen Victoria's life and reign. As a researcher of the Victorian era, my reading of the Queen's biography was long past due. I am so grateful that I waited for the right moment and the right book to truly understand this woman from a deeper perspective. This is a MUST read! ♡♡♡

Laura317 I just got this! Glad to know it's a winner. 2y
ladyclassics Loved every bit of it!! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :) @Laura317 2y
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mboots

I am learning new things about Queen Victoria and it is quite interesting (and of course scandalous at times).

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ladyclassics
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When you finally get the nerve to go to the optometrist and this happens....life will never be the same again. At least I satisfy the aesthetics of the quintessential English PhD student, I suppose!

DebinHawaii I like the frames! 👓👍 2y
ladyclassics @DebinHawaii Thank you! It will take some getting used to, but I do love the style ;) 2y
25 likes2 comments
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ladyclassics
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When you match your outfits with your books more than you do with any person...

JoeStalksBeck Nice! 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage 👏🏻👏🏻 I enjoyed that book but it sure was long. 2y
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MallenNC
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It's appropriate that I'm reading her biography now! I love books about royalty. (Image from Historic Royal Palaces)

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MallenNC
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Though I love royals, I was intimidated by the size of this library book until I realized nearly 200 of its pages are notes and index. I can do it! #longreads #500+

Lcsmcat And it's so worth it! 2y
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melissajayne
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Really like this quote.