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Queen Victoria (Hardback)

Her Life and Legacy

Colour Books Military > Frontline Books P&S History > British History > Victorian History P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > Royal History Photographic Books Women of History

By Paul Kendall
Frontline Books
Series: In 100 Objects
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 200 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399018319
Published: 2nd February 2022



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For almost 64 years, Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain during a period which saw the country become the most powerful and prestigious in the world and one which experienced enormous social, political and industrial change. Those changes were embraced by Victoria, who became the first monarch to use the railway as a mode of transport, to use anaesthetic to alleviate pain, during childbirth, and to use a telephone.

At the very start of her reign, she took an interest in politics, playing an active part in the machinations of government, and worked with ten prime ministers. She broke down barriers between sovereign and her subjects, ensuring that she was visible to the public. Victoria established the tradition of the white wedding, wearing a white bridal dress to ensure that her subjects could see her with the coronation route lengthened to maximise her exposure. She set the tradition of acknowledging her subjects from the balcony at Buckingham Palace during times of national celebration. She also paid regular visits to hospitals in England to visit wounded soldiers, and instigated the medal named after her which became the highest honour a man could receive fighting for his country.

All aspects of Victoria’s life from Kensington Palace, her birthplace to Frogmore Mausoleum, are covered within this volume. Her personal life as well as her public persona are examined with illustrations of many of the places and palaces that were significant in her life – such as the site of the Fox & Crown public house on West Hill, Highgate, where, the landlord stepped out to halt the horses of Victoria coach which was careering out of control, or the point along Constitution Hill where the first assassination attempt was made on Victoria’s life.

Equally displayed in this unique collection are fascinating artifacts that epitomise her reign, for example, the world’s first pre-paid adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black which, of course, bore her image, and the gold enamelled brooch presented by Queen Victoria to Florence Nightingale in 1855 for her work in Crimea.

Queen Victoria: Her Life and Legacy is a journey in gloriously-coloured images through one of Britain’s greatest eras – the age of Victoria.

An interesting biography with many details about Victoria which I was unaware of. An easy read, covering numerous areas of Victoria's times. Chapters are short and concise, and I found good to have pictures illustrating the biography.

NetGalley, Christine Boos

I think this is the third Paul Kendall book that I have read as I’ve reviewed the Henry VIII, Charles Dickens books before both also of excellent quality. I read them as being two books in one as you have the text story which is very well informed and interesting, alongside some stunning pictures of various interesting things and places. What is always so good about the books is the wide variety of items or places we get to see or read about, the variety is so wide and good, you really do learn so much. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Penny Black stamps, and the various medals that were produced that covered various events and causes. Queen Victoria really does span a huge number of years in which so many important events and occasions occurred. This book is thoroughly enjoyable and I would recommend it even to those that are new to the subject and even those who see themselves as experts. A joy to read.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

Highlight: 'The book provides a compact, concise and yet complete picture of the life of Queen Victoria. Anyone interested in reading about Victoria, the person and the Queen should read this book. It’s engaging and very informative. Definitely recommended.'

Full review available at:

The New Royalty World Boeken Blog

Paul Kendall's latest book for Pen and Sword is his best yet - in fact, although it doesn't mention it on the cover, it's one of their "...in one hundred objects" series, and it's far and away the most interesting and captivating of the series so far, due in no small part to Paul's excellent research and warm, informative style. I learnt more about Victoria from this brilliant book than from any other I've read so far.

Books Monthly

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love biographies with pictures and I have a special interest in everything about monarchy, so, it goes without saying, that I adored this book! It's interesting, well written, easy to read with short chapters and a lot of images. It's not a heavy read, it reads quicky and always keeps you engaged.

NetGalley, Federica Angelè

As featured in: 'Queen's boat tragedy in Solent told in new book'

Isle of Wight County Press

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love anything about this era, the whole book engrossed me I loved reading about queen Victoria’s personal life, I learned lots of things which I never knew before which fascinated me.

NetGalley, Aisha Bari

As featured in 'How people of Wolverhampton left big impression on Queen Victoria'

Full article available at:

Express and Star (Wolverhampton)

As featured

The Bookseller

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have for many years had a fascination with Queen Victoria and Victoriana in general. I loved this book full of detail. Well-written. Definitely recommended.

NetGalley, Wendy M Rhodes

This book would be wonderful in the hardcover format. It chronicles Queen Victoria's life accompanied by full page photos, mostly in color- as the narrative goes along. It is important to note that Queen Victoria was the first Queen of England to be photographed...before that there were only paintings. This tome covers so many aspects of her long reign such as ships she christened, places she visited, homes and castles she lived in, medals she awarded and designed, dresses she wore-and much much more. The book ends with her death and funeral, with a full compliment of photos depicting her casket on a gun carriage and her final resting place beside Prince Albert in their mausoleum at Frogmore, Windsor. I marveled at the detail given here of her deathbed, body preparation, and the secret instructions of what would be discreetly placed in her coffin. This wasn't a "heavy" read, which was a pleasure. It was simple and straightforward. If I wasn't interested in a topic (such as a particular ship) I could skim by it, look at the picture and move on. I read this as a protected pdf on my computer where I was really able to appreciate the photos. At just 240 pages, this was a concise presentation of the life of Queen Victoria.

NetGalley, Joanne Manuel aka *TUDOR^QUEEN*

As featured in: New book on Queen Victoria and her gift to Ely

Ely Standard

As featured in

Gosport and Farnham Globe


Island Echo (Isle of Wight)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Anyone interested in reading about Victoria the person and the queen should seek this out. Though I have read loads of books on the subject, this is brilliantly informative and immersive.

NetGalley, Brenda Carleton

As featured in: 'Details of Queen Victoria’s
gift to Ely features in a new

Ely Standard

A glossy book (if you can call a Kindle book glossy), there is an abundance of visual material in the book. What one could simply take as coffee table book on the life of the queen is much more than that. There's a depth that most picture books don't have, and seeing photographed items that Queen Victoria actually used made the text come to life.

NetGalley, Jennifer Jacobson Carew

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A no-frills biography presented in austere, short chapters. I dare say her highness, Queen Victoria, would have approved of the no-drama writing style. Images portray major events, persons, and locations of Queen Victoria's life to help set the scene. A good, basic biography that is easy to read. 2-4 page chapters make for easy pickup and set down for those with a busy lifestyle. A great starting point for those researching Queen Victoria and her time period. Sources are meticulously cited within text for both information and images.

NetGalley, Katherine Wehrle

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Between 1837 and 1901, Queen Victoria reigned through a period which saw Britain and the empire transformed beyond all recognition. Victoria and her reign are subjects which have been covered many times before but Paul Kendall's nicely illustrated and well-researched books contains enough fresh insights into the details of her life to ensure it always remains interesting..

NetGalley, Chris Hallam

Arguably Britain’s greatest ever monarch, Queen Victoria’s era is regarded by many as a golden age in British history, and it is hard to argue with that after reading Paul Kendall’s excellent pictorial history, “Queen Victoria - Her Life and Legacy”.
This book is a visual document of the locations associated with Victoria’s reign, from her place of birth in Kensington Palace, to her death bed; objects used by her and notable events. There is captivating photography throughout and while it may appear to be a superficial book on the surface, upon reading it becomes clear that this work is a thorough and scholarly history of Queen Victoria’s entire life. Each chapter has a short write-up about the history of the subject, and each passage has real historical depth.
We get a vivid picture of Victoria’s life, especially her tentative, nervous and grief-laden early years when she assumed the throne aged just 18. Surviving several assassination attempts, she became a powerful monarch who ruled over one of the biggest empires the world had yet seen, creating many institutions and cultural changes which still resonate today.
A very accessible book that can be understood and enjoyed by all ages, Paul Kendall’s “Queen Victoria - Her Life and Legacy” is richly informative and a joy to read. It is a fitting record of one of the greatest monarchs in British history.

NetGalley, Wyn Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book starts out at the time of Victoria’s birth. Since, at the time of her birth, she was fifth in line for the British throne, she was not expected to ascend to the throne. However, a series of unfortunate deaths led to her becoming Queen Victoria when she was one month shy of her eighteenth birthday. She was to sit on the throne for sixty-three years and seven months. Her reign led its name to the “Victorian Age.”

This book has fantastic pictures of various palaces and other places of interest related to Victoria’s reign. It also has copious footnotes, so that the reader may further explore her life and times. It outlines the assassination attempts on her life, of which there were many.

It describes the fairytale story of her romance with Prince Albert, a cousin of hers. It sounds absolutely wonderful. The reader is told about her nine children, beginning with her first daughter Victoria or “Vicky.” (Although she hated being pregnant.) Albert loved and doted on his children.

Victoria’s reign was to engender many, many firsts in Britain, such as postage stamps, railroads and so on. She and her daughters, and the household staff knitted stockings for soldiers fighting the Crimean War. She took her position as head of the armed services seriously and did all she could to support the men. She was the first Queen to use chloroform in 1853 beginning with the birth of her sixth child, Prince Leopold. She was the first to use the Buckingham Palace balcony as a way of greeting her subjects.

I wish I could portal back to 1851 Britain and see the Crystal Palace with its 300,000 panes of glass. It must have been absolutely gorgeous. Prince Albert really created a masterpiece.

Mr. Kendall ends his book with, “No woman was ever held in higher honour. No Queen was ever loved so well.”

This book is fascinating. It is well written and laid out pretty linearly. The reader gets a sense of Victoria through his words and the photographs. It is a wonderful picture of a much loved Queen.

NetGalley, Joyce Fox

About Paul Kendall

Educated at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, where he also served as an Honorary Midshipman with the University of London Royal Naval Unit, PAUL KENDALL is a military historian and author from Kent specialising in the First World War.

Born on this day 1819 - Queen Victoria

24th May 1819

For almost 64 years, Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain during a period which saw the country become the most powerful and prestigious in the world and one which experienced enormous social, political and industrial change. Those changes were embraced by Victoria, who became the first monarch to use the railway as a mode of transport, to use anaesthetic to alleviate pain, during childbirth, and to use a telephone.

Coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey, London

28th June 1838

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20th June 1837 until her death in 1901.

Marriage of Queen Victoria

10th February 1840

British Queen Victoria (20) marries her cousin Albert (20) of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, later the Prince Consort at St James' Palace

Died on this day - Queen Victoria

22nd January 1901

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20th June 1837 until her death in 1901. She inherited the throne at the age of 18 and became a national icon. Her reign of 63 years and seven months, was longer than that of any other British monarch before her, until overtaken by her great-great granddaughter Elizabeth II in 2015. Her reign is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

Queen Victoria's funeral takes place

2nd February 1901

Queen Victoria's funeral takes place in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England

View all events View all anniversaries

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In the Fall of 1947, an eighty-four-year-old woman receives an extraordinary invitation. Though much that happened was a lifetime ago and in a different world, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, now the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, holds the heavy vellum envelop for a moment in her hands. Within is the end of a long journey seeking vindication for a husband who gave his life to the service of the Royal Navy and received, in return, ingratitude. Within is the reminder of a life lived with her family that is mostly gone. However, for one exquisite moment, it returns as she opens the…

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