The most recommended books about Queen Victoria

Who picked these books? Meet our 45 experts.

45 authors created a book list connected to Queen Victoria, and here are their favorite Queen Victoria books.
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Book cover of Grandmama of Europe: The Crowned Descendants of Queen Victoria

Sue Woolmans Author Of The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World

From my list on 19th/20th century royal history.

Who am I?

It’s not the dates or Acts of Parliament that inspire my love of history. It’s the people and their personalities - the Kings, Queens, Princes, and Princesses. They shape their times - but also build palaces, collect art, wear jewellery, patronise composers - it’s a far more wide-ranging subject than you would think. I have been studying, researching, and writing Royal history for many years - travelling the world to follow in the footsteps of Monarchs. Or in the case of my absolute history hero, Franz Ferdinand - weeping at the spot where he was assassinated - not just for him but for all who died in the First World War.

Sue's book list on 19th/20th century royal history

Sue Woolmans Why did Sue love this book?

Victoria had 9 children and 42 grandchildren and was nicknamed “Grandmama of Europe” before Mr. Aronson used it to title his book.

Of them, one was an Emperor, one a King, and 5 were consorts of rulers; whilst most of the others married into European royal families. This overview weaves their stories together like a novel, taking us to the First World War, the fall of Empires at the end of the war, and then on into the last century where, of the 7 European monarchies still on thrones, 5 are descended from Victoria - the other 2 related to Victoria.

Don’t worry, you won’t get lost, Mr. Aronson uses family nicknames to differentiate which Victoria or William is which.

By Theo Aronson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grandmama of Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grandmama of Europe: The Crowned Descendants of Queen Victoria


Book cover of The Mysterious Mr. Quin

Jim Eldridge Author Of Murder at the Natural History Museum

From my list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction.

Who am I?

I have always loved history, from ancient Egyptian times up to recent history (the 1950s and 1960s). Put history in the context of a crime and the history becomes even more fascinating. A book where the history of that time comes vividly alive for the reader is the greatest pleasure a reader can experience.

Jim's book list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction

Jim Eldridge Why did Jim love this book?

Agatha Christie is deservedly the world’s best-selling crime writer, and most of her readers are familiar with Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot, but with this book we have the undiscovered gems of the mysterious Harley Quin and his partner Mr. Satterthwaite. The book is evocative of England in the 1930s. It makes for addictive reading and shows Christie at her very best.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mysterious Mr. Quin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique offering from the Queen of Crime. This Agatha Christie Signature Edition features the hero the world-famous author was most fond of - Mr Harley Quin, the enigmatic friend and counterpart of the rational Mr Satterthwaite.

So far, it had been a typical New Year's Eve house party. But Mr Satterthwaite - a keen observer of human nature - sensed that the real drama of the evening was yet to unfold.

So it proved when a mysterious stranger arrived after midnight. Who was this Mr Quin? And why did his presence have such a pronounced effect on Eleanor Portal,…


Book cover of Ena and Bee: Queen Victoria's Spanish Granddaughters

Coryne Hall Author Of Rasputin's Killer and his Romanov Princess

From Coryne's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Historian Bookworm Mad about Imperial Russia

Coryne's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Coryne Hall Why did Coryne love this book?

This is the recent English translation of a Spanish book about two of Queen Victoria’s lesser-known granddaughters.

Victoria Eugenie (Ena) of Battenberg married Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1906. Three years later her cousin Beatrice of Edinburgh & Saxe-Coburg (having been forbidden to marry her cousin Grand Duke Michael of Russia) married his cousin Infante Don Alfonso. Ena had to deal with her husband’s infidelities as well as her haemophiliac sons. Beatrice (Bee) and her husband were popular but jealousy and disagreements with the King resulted in their temporary exile.

I loved the friendship and mutual support given to each other by these cousins, whose attachment survived all the vicissitudes that life threw at them. This is a fascinating, little-known story. 

By Ana de Sagrera,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ena and Bee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Princess Eugenia (Ena) of Battenberg and Princess Beatrice (Bee) of Saxe-Coburg, granddaughters of Queen Victoria of England, married into the Spanish royal family. In 1906 Ena became the consort of King Alfonso XIII, who had been sovereign since his birth in 1886. Three years later Bee married his cousin, Infante Don Alfonso. Ena's marriage proved unhappy with the ill-health of her haemophiliac sons and her husband's infidelities. The King abdicated in 1931, and they led separate lives in exile until he died in 1941. Bee and her husband Ali were more popular, although personal differences between them and the King…


Book cover of A Newlywed's Guide to Fortune and Murder

Fedora Amis Author Of See President McKinley or Die Trying

From Fedora's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Part-time Victorian wannabe Mystery Wordsmith Sister in crime Speaker Philosopher

Fedora's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Fedora Amis Why did Fedora love this book?

I read this book in two sittings, so it’s a fast read. I could easily visualize scenes thanks to Freeman’s economical and effective descriptions.

What I relate to most personally is her use of characters, especially women who are of middle age or older. In typical historical mysteries in 1900 England, ladies of the upper crust often appear as parlor decorations for tea time. Freeman’s women are much more complex. They can turn on a dime from charming to waspish and never stop manipulating the people around them—without those people having a clue—one more thing.

Freeman has a deliciously understated streak of humor. i.e., “It’s that coiffure that has me worried. If it ever came down, it could take out two or three bystanders.”

By Dianne Freeman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Newlywed's Guide to Fortune and Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Agatha Award-winning author Dianne Freeman, the Countess of Harleigh Mysteries are a witty romp through the high society of Victorian England with a touch of romance, an appealing and independent female lead, and rich historical detail. In this delightful sixth installment, the American-born newlywed Frances Hazelton finds her honeymoon plans derailed by a murder among the upper crust of English society…“Pure unadulterated fun” (Publishers Weekly) for fans of Ashley Weaver, Deanna Raybourn, and Tasha Alexander!

With her new husband George busy on a special mission for the British Museum, Frances has taken on an assignment of her own. The…


Book cover of Touch Not the Cat

Christina Dudley Author Of Everliving

From my list on spooky romance for chilly nights.

Who am I?

I’m a writer who grew up reading anything she could get her hands on, and the local library and I were besties. If most writers can point to a particular book that made them fall in love with stories, then I must be one promiscuous reader. Because I’m happy to date just about any genre, and I don’t even keep to one at a time—you name it, I’ve loved it. But the ex I’ll return to over and over is romance in all its forms. And on a chilly night, nothing beats a spooky romance, so light a candle, huddle under a blanket, and get cozy with one of my favorites!

Christina's book list on spooky romance for chilly nights

Christina Dudley Why did Christina love this book?

Rejoice, for Mary Stewart’s wonderful books are finally available on Kindle! If Victoria Holt was fun but derivative, Mary Stewart knew how to do a fresh take on the imperiled-heroine-in-a-creepy-setting for the 20th century. And out of all her books, Touch Not the Cat was my favorite for its supernatural, telepathic element. (You can trace the echoes of this telepathy directly to my book because, baby, that’s what inspired them.) Just writing this paragraph makes me want to drop everything and go have a re-read. Enjoy.

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Touch Not the Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors.' Harriet Evans

Ashley Court: the tumbledown ancestral home of the Ashley family, all blessed with 'the gift' of being able to speak to each other without words. When Bryony Ashley's father dies under mysterious circumstances, his final words a cryptic warning to her, Bryony returns from abroad to uncover Ashley Court's secrets. What did her father's message mean? What lies at the centre of the overgrown maze in the gardens? And who is trying to prevent Bryony from discovering the truth?

Tell Bryony.…


Book cover of The Mysteries of London

Stephen Carver Author Of The Author Who Outsold Dickens: The Life and Works of W.H. Ainsworth

From my list on the 19th century they don’t teach you in school.

Who am I?

I’m a great one for alternative histories. I’m particularly fascinated by authors who were bestsellers in their own day but have been edited out of the official version of ‘English literature’. We constantly have Dickens, the Brontës, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and so forth fed back to us through reprinted novels, costume dramas, and lavish film adaptations, but there were other authors active at the time who commanded huge sales but whose work has now been largely forgotten or disregarded. These authors deserve attention, while their rediscovered work would freshen up the ongoing discourse of cultural retrieval. Seek them out, as I have, and I promise it’ll be worth it.

Stephen's book list on the 19th century they don’t teach you in school

Stephen Carver Why did Stephen love this book?

A lurid penny dreadful serial launched in 1844. The English counterpart of Eugène Sue’s Les Mystères de Paris (1843), the Chartist author/publisher Reynolds inaugurates the ‘city mysteries’ genre, exploring shady urban underworlds, and revealing corruption and exploitation through a focus on violence and sexual deviance. Using sensation to make a powerful political point and to reach working-class readers, Reynolds reduced all the problems of the world to the divide between wealth and poverty. Even Queen Victoria does not escape judgment. His dark urban labyrinths mirror those of Dickens, but his politics are much more radical, making the two men bitter ideological and commercial rivals. I’ve always found Reynolds inspiring, and have written about him academically and in historical fiction. 

By George W. M. Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mysteries of London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The government feared him. Rival authors like Charles Dickens, whom he outsold, despised him. The literary establishment did its best to write him out of literary history. But when George W.M. Reynolds, journalist, political reformer, Socialist, and novelist, died in 1879, even his critics were forced to acknowledge the truth of his obituary, which declared that he was the most popular writer of his time. And The Mysteries of London, which was published in 1844 in the "penny dreadful" format of weekly installments sold for a penny each, was his masterpiece and greatest success, selling 50,000 copies a week and…


Book cover of Cogheart

Christyne Morrell Author Of Kingdom of Secrets

From my list on for children with mind-blowing plot twists.

Who am I?

I hate surprises in real life, but in fiction, nothing beats a good plot twist. As both a reader and a writer, I love to get swept up in a story, especially when I’m not certain where it will take me or what will happen next. It’s like being on a thrilling ride! Each of the books on this list kept me guessing, caught me off guard, and made me shout “aha!”  

Christyne's book list on for children with mind-blowing plot twists

Christyne Morrell Why did Christyne love this book?

I was initially drawn to the steampunk elements of this story but was quickly pulled into Lily’s plight. Lily’s father invented a priceless machine before he suddenly went missing. Now she must find him before she’s nabbed by the shadowy figures who think she knows where his invention is hidden. Action and adventure abound, but it’s the mystery at the heart of this story that kept me ravenously flipping pages.   

By Peter Bunzl,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cogheart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first in the bestselling Cogheart Adventures series, where mayhem, murder and mystery meet in a gripping Victorian world of fantastical imagination.

Some secrets change the world in a heartbeat.

Lily's life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her?

With her friends - Robert, the clockmaker's son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox - Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart...

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES…


Book cover of Daughters of the Lake

Julia Ash Author Of Find Them

From Julia's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Ghost survivor Lake lover Hiker Former PIO

Julia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Julia Ash Why did Julia love this book?

Webb uses dreams and ghosts to bridge a historical mystery with present-day events.

Take recently divorced Kate Granger. Her life is a mess, so she is recuperating at her parents’ waterfront home on Lake Superior. While there, a perfectly preserved woman, with her baby tucked in the folds of her gown, washes ashore. Kate shouldn’t recognize her, but she does.

She’s been dreaming of the woman who lived 100 years ago. Not only that, but the woman’s unsolved murder is connected to Harrison’s House which Kate’s great-grandfather built; it’s now her cousin’s bed and breakfast.

Will Kate’s dreams and the secrets hidden within Harrison’s House solve the mystery before Kate completely unravels?

Count on being afraid of the fog!

By Wendy Webb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daughters of the Lake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The ghosts of the past come calling in a spellbinding heart-stopper from the "Queen of the Northern Gothic."

After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents' home on Lake Superior to pull herself together-only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman's curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She's seen her before. In her dreams...

One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries…


Book cover of The Play Room

Paul Dowswell Author Of Aliens: The Chequered History of Britain's Wartime Refugees

From Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Historian Traveler Researcher Educator Musician

Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Paul Dowswell Why did Paul love this book?

This novel has a particular poignancy for me as it comes from my mum’s vast collection of books, which she bequeathed to my daughter as she neared the end of her life.

Here, Olivia Manning conjures life in early 1960s Plymouth at a time of rapidly changing social attitudes and captures the awkwardness and yearning of her adolescent protagonists with exquisite skill. Although the events depicted are 60 years into the past, her characters are so fresh their lives come vividly to life.

My mum has died now, and I’m sad I’ll never be able to discuss this magnificent book with her.

By Olivia Manning,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Play Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifteen-year-old Laura lives with her family in the seaside town of Camperlea. It is the Swinging Sixties, and Laura's ambition is to leave home for London and work in a Chelsea boutique. Meanwhile she worships her schoolfriend Vicky Logan who is all Laura longs to popular, outrageous, sensual, she lives in a large house on "the right side of town." Vicky knows she can have any man she wants - but she chooses a rough factory worker, Clarrie Piper. She begins to frequent the factory dances and Laura watches in powerless dread and fascination as the teasing game Vicky plays…


Book cover of The Royal Mob

Helen Azar Author Of In the Steps of the Romanovs: Final two years of the last Russian imperial family (1916-1918)

From my list on historical fiction on royalty and Russia.

Who am I?

After a relatively short career in research science, Helen Azar switched gears and returned to graduate school to fulfill a dream of becoming a reference librarian. She worked at the Free Library of Philadelphia for ten years, during which time she became a published author. While researching for her first book, The Diary of Olga Romanov, Helen visited Russia several times, and worked in the Rare Book Fund at the Museum at Tsarskoe Selo, which holds the imperial book collection. Today, Helen lives on the beautiful far south coast of New South Wales, Australia; she continues writing about Russia's last imperial family and leads Romanov history tours. She also administers The Romanov Family website and is the content creator for a YouTube channel In the Steps of the Romanovs.

Helen's book list on historical fiction on royalty and Russia

Helen Azar Why did Helen love this book?

Very well researched and well written, the author weaves historical facts into the story with elegant ease, which makes it not only fun to read but also informative. There was even a point when I had to double-check to make sure this was really a work of fiction and not a real memoir by Victoria Battenberg. You really get to know her in this book, and realize that she was not just one of the more obscure of Queen Victoria's granddaughters, but an interesting character in her own right, who was a witness to the crucial historical events of the late 19th and early 20th century.

By Theresa Sherman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Royal Mob as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Royal Mob is the story of the four beautiful Princesses of the House of Hesse, granddaughters of Queen Victoria, who come of age during the zenith of European Royalty. Each makes a brilliant marriage that will bring her both happiness and heartbreak. The eldest, Princess Victoria, marries the handsome Prince Louis of Battenberg, the former lover of Lillie Langtry. The next, the exquisite Elisabeth, is swept off to the unbelievable splendor of the Romanov court by Grand Duke Serge, while Irène dazzles Prince Henry of Prussia and takes her place at the court in Berlin. Alix, the youngest, marries…