The astonishing story of Queen Victoria's passionate youth, her bitter struggle with her mother - and how her life was shaped by the life of her forgotten cousin, Princess Charlotte, the Queen who never was.
Our perception of Victoria the Queen is coloured by portraits of her older, widowed self - her dour expression embodying the repressive morality propagated in her time. But Becoming Queen reveals an energetic and vibrant woman, determined to battle for power. It also documents the Byzantine machinations behind Victoria's quest to occupy the throne, and shows how her struggles did not end when finally the crown was placed on her head.
Laying bare the passions that swirled around the throne in the eighteenth century, Becoming Queen is an absorbingly dramatic tale of secrets, sexual repression and endless conflict. After her lauded biography of Emma Hamilton, England's Mistress, Kate Williams has produced a most original and intimate portrait of Great Britain's longest reigning monarch.
“The amazing untold story of Victoria before she was Queen ... Kate Williams reveals a passionate young woman beloved of her future subjects but at war with her family”
“Passionate, exuberant and entertaining, a treasure trove of royalty, intrigue and politics ... vividly and sensitively brings to life the girl who would become Queen”
Simon Sebag Montefiore
“This fresh and vivid portrayal of the young Queen Victoria is deserving of the highest praise. I cannot recommend it highly enough”
Alison Weir, author of The Lady Elizabeth
“Becoming Queen showcases an outstanding talent from whom we can expect much more”
Matthew d'Ancona, Spectator
“History as exciting and tempestuous as you are ever likely to find”
“A dashing and vivid account of Charlotte and Victoria's lives”
“Examining the death of Princess Charlotte, and Victoria's own struggle for power, this is a bracing recreation”
Scotland on Sunday
“Detailed and sympathetic”
“An illuminating biography”