304 pages, Simon & Schuster, ISBN-13: 978-0684807652
If you’re looking for a serious biography of the woman who gave her name to an age, then Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria by Carolly Erickson is not the book you’re looking for. This is a quick, ultimately readable yet light overview of a complex character. Erickson focuses mostly on a lifetime of emotional turmoil rather than a lifetime of actions and accomplishments; thus, while not a book for the serious historian, Her Little Majesty is still a nice summer read or a good way for a young adult who needs a little encouragement in studying history, for after finishing these 300-or-so pages, I was left with an impression of a rather whiny, resentful, erratic woman who never accomplished anything of note other than producing A LOT of children and thus ensuring that most of the crowned heads of Europe were related to each other (not that that helped to keep the peace, mind you). This book was great for stimulating my interest in finding a good biography of Victoria; something that talked more about the time she lived in, the role of the monarchy in England at that time, and, most importantly, what she did with her life – besides make A LOT of children. I am a fan of Erickson, and while this is by no means her best work, her book does not pretend to be an all-encompassing tale of this queen’s life…sad to say.