A.N. Wilson in conversation with Shrabani Basu


When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly 64 years. She was a mother of nine and grandmother of 42, and the matriarch of Royal Europe through the marriages of her children. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique — an aging, stiff widow, paraded as the figurehead to an all-male imperial enterprise. But in truth, Britain’s longest reigning monarch was one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived, and the story of her life continues to fascinate. A. N. Wilson, who wrote the definitive bestselling biography of the queen, has brought to light a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources, exploring the curious set of circumstances that led to Victoria’s coronation, her strange and isolated childhood, her passionate marriage, Prince Albert’s pivotal influence, her widowhood and subsequent intimate.