In this surprising new life of Victoria, Christopher Hibbert, master of the telling anecdote and peerless biographer of England's great leaders, paints a fresh and intimate portrait of the woman who shaped a century. His Victoria is not only the formidable, demanding, capricious queen of popular imagination--she is also often shy, diffident, and vulnerable, prone to giggling fits and crying jags. Often censorious when confronted with her mother's moral lapses, she herself could be passionately sensual, emotional, and deeply sentimental. Ascending to the throne at age eighteen, Victoria ruled for sixty-four years--an astounding length for any world leader. During her reign, she dealt with conflicts ranging from royal quarrels to war in Crimea and rebellion in India. She saw monarchs fall, empires crumble, new continents explored, and England grow into a dominant global and industrial power. This personal history is a compelling look at the complex woman whom, until now, we only thought we knew.