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About the book
  • Published: 18 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409027850
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

Serving Victoria

Life in the Royal Household

A sparkling portrait of the court of Queen Victoria, seen through the lives of her household using never-seen-before diaries and letters.

Shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Biography Award

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, read this sparkling portrait of her court, seen through the lives of her household.

‘Eye-opening and thoroughly engaging’ Sunday Times
During the sixty-three years of her reign, Queen Victoria gathered around her a household dedicated to her service. By following their lives - from governess to maid-of-honour, chaplain to personal physician - Serving Victoria offers a unique insight into the Victorian court with all its frustrations and absurdities.

Sitting squarely at its centre is Victoria, and through the eyes of her household we see a Queen who is more vulnerable, more emotional, more selfish and more comical than is generally supposed. A woman who was prone to fits of giggles, who wept easily and often, who gobbled her food and shrank from confrontation, while insisting on controlling the lives of those around her. Serving Victoria provides a glimpse of what it meant and what it was like to serve the Queen.

Shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Biography Award

  • Pub date: 18 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409027850
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

About the Author

Kate Hubbard

Kate Hubbard has worked variously as a researcher, teacher, publisher's reader, freelance editor and book reviewer. She currently works for the Royal Literary Fund as a Royal Literary Fellow. Her most recent book, Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award. Kate divides her time between London and Dorset. Her interest in Bess of Hardwick began with her love for Bess’s only surviving house, Hardwick Hall.

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Praise for Serving Victoria

“Entertaining…compellingly vivid... A fine examination of both the bizarre and the banal in the domestic machinery of Victoria's court”


“The rhythm of court life at Windsor or Balmoral is the backdrop to a rich human drama... [Hubbard's] achievement is to enter a sealed world, ruled by repetition, and make it compelling”

Daily Telegraph

“Eye-opening and compelling”

Sunday Times

“Having plundered a rich vein of fascinating and often new information, Hubbard shows that serving Victoria was no doddle”

Daily Mail

“An astonishing, lively and amusing account of the opinionated Queen and her odd entourage”

Christopher Hirst, Independent

“Finely tuned… Hubbard integrates these strands of personnel and personalities through her small group of histories, which she records so skillfully that the excellence of her prose and the lucidity of her insight are taken for granted”

Mary Leland, Irish Examiner

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