Queen Victoria

A terrific two-hander that belongs at the National: RSC's Kunene and the King reviewed

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

The Gift is three plays in one. It opens in a blindingly white Victorian parlour where a posh lady, Sarah,…

Nothing can beat the romance of luxury train travel between the wars

21 December 2019 9:00 am

There may never have been a murder on the real Orient Express, but otherwise Agatha Christie’s depiction of luxury train…

What Mary Wollstonecraft writes about motherhood is still so relevant

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Walking into Fingal’s Cave, after scrambling across the rocks to reach it from the landing stage where the boat from…

Almost triumphs over the absurdity of its premise: Northern Ballet’s Victoria reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Blame Kenneth MacMillan. The great Royal Ballet choreographer of the 1960s, 70s and 80s was convinced that narrative dance could…

Stitches in time

15 July 2017 9:00 am

When Martha Ann Ricks was 76 she travelled from her home in Liberia to London to meet Queen Victoria. The…

The Bridgeman Art Library

Laurence Oliphant: oddest of Victorian oddballs

12 March 2016 9:00 am

As an erstwhile obituarist, I pity the poor hack who had to write up the life of Laurence Oliphant —…

The dining car of the London to Liverpool express — back when croutons were still served with the soup

Sexual assault, chamber-pot etiquette, and other problems of early rail travel

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Simon Bradley dates the demise of the on-board meal service to 1962, when Pullman services no longer offered croutons with…

Victoria as a child, by Richard Westall

Queen Victoria was born to be a novelist — this book proves it

6 June 2015 9:00 am

A wonderfully vivid school story has surfaced written by Queen Victoria as a child. The monarch was clearly a sensational novelist manqué, says Philip Hensher

What’s wrong with the Victoria Cross

6 June 2015 9:00 am

‘It is the task of a Patton or a Napoleon to persuade soldiers that bits of ribbon are intrinsically valuable.…

How long is it since anniversaries stopped being measured in years?

7 March 2015 9:00 am

‘You must promise to be with us for our silver wedding D.V. which will be in four years,’ wrote Queen…

Portrait of Lord Dufferin, 1893

The first Lord Dufferin: the eclipse of a most eminent Victorian

28 February 2015 9:00 am

The first Marquess of Dufferin and Ava is largely forgotten today — rotten luck for the great diplomat of the…

‘The Great Elm at Lacock’, 1843–45, by William Henry Fox Talbot

Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain reviewed: entertainingly barmy

28 February 2015 9:00 am

In the centre of the new exhibition Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain there is a huge white elephant. The beast…

Princess Bamba, Catherine and Sophia Duleep Singh at their debut at Buckingham Palace, 1894

Sophia Duleep Singh: from socialite to socialist

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Princess Sophia Alexandrovna Duleep Singh (1876–1948) had a heritage as confusing as her name. Her father was a deposed Indian…

Mary Anne Disraeli by James Godsell Middleton

Politics as an aphrodisiac: the secret of the Disraelis’ happy marriage

17 January 2015 9:00 am

The long, happy and unlikely marriage of the great Conservative leader Disraeli and his wife Mary Anne, 12 years his…

Scenes from a long life. Left to right: the vulnerable young queen, in thrall to Prince Albert; overcoming her demons with the help of John Brown — depicted in a popular souvenir cut-out; and the matriarch as Empress of India

Is there anything left to say about Queen Victoria? A.N. Wilson has found plenty

6 September 2014 9:00 am

A new, revisionist biography argues that it was only after her husband’s death that Queen Victoria found her true self. Jane Ridley is impressed

A.N. Wilson's diary: The book that made me a writer – and the pushchair that made me an old git

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Like many inward-looking children, I always doodled stories and poems. Knowing one wanted to be a writer is a different…

Queen Victoria with the naughty bits put back

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Queen Victoria was the inventor of official royal biography. It was she who commissioned the monumental five-volume life of Prince…

When Scotland goes, will England return?

22 February 2014 9:00 am

Who, my husband asked, expects every man will do his duty? He was responding to the interesting and important question…

What was the secret of Queen Victoria's rebel daughter?

11 January 2014 9:00 am

Princess Louise (1848–1939), Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter, was the prettiest and liveliest of the five princesses, and the only one…

Clash of the titans

26 October 2013 9:00 am

This is an odd book: interesting, informative, intelligent, but still decidedly odd. It is a history of the Victorian era…

Landseer’s portrait of Queen Victoria riding in Windsor Home Park four years after the death of Prince Albert

Queen Victoria, by Matthew Dennison - review

12 October 2013 9:00 am

When Prince Albert died in 1861, aged 42, Queen Victoria, after briefly losing the use of her legs, ordered that…

Disraeli, by Douglas Hurd; The Great Rivalry, by Dick Leonard - review

13 July 2013 9:00 am

Sam Leith finds shades of Jeffrey Archer and Boris Johnson in the 19th-century prime minister