23 books directly related to Queen Victoria 📚

All 23 Queen Victoria books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

My Memories of Six Reigns

By Princess Marie Louise,

Book cover of My Memories of Six Reigns

Why this book?

This is a charming book, filled with amusing and touching anecdotes by Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Marie Louise, whose lovely character shines through every page.  The simple style and lack of chronological order create the impression that the reader is sitting with the author as she simply recounts her remarkable memories of the people and places of another era. Just beautiful! 


Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera

By Michael Nelson,

Book cover of Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera

Why this book?

This lovely book dispels the myth that, after Albert’s death, Queen Victoria spent forty years in Windsor Castle in perpetual mourning, as it describes her delight in her many holidays on the Cote D’Azur. The book introduces the Queen’s companions, John Brown and the Munshi, alongside many other well-known characters of the era, including the infamous Leopold II of the Belgians. "Oh, if only I were at Nice, I should recover!" she said during her final illness, and it is unsurprising that, at the time of her death, her aides were forced to cancel the plans she had made for her next visit to her beloved Riviera.  


Ask Sir James: The Life of Sire James Reid, Personal Physician to Queen Victoria

By Michaela Reid,

Book cover of Ask Sir James: The Life of Sire James Reid, Personal Physician to Queen Victoria

Why this book?

Based on the notes of Queen Victoria’s doctor, Sir James Reid, this book, written by his daughter, gives a wonderful insight into the relationships within the extended Royal Family as well as the numerous ailments with which they were afflicted. There are many amusing episodes, including the Queen’s indignation on hearing that doctors intended to remove her son-in-law’s eye, following a shooting accident; and her refusal to alter her diet to cure her frequent indigestion. Of all the books about Queen Victoria, none gives a more comprehensive account of her final hours, death, and the preparations for her funeral. 


Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter

By A.E. Moorat,

Book cover of Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter

Why this book?

If you love reading about English royalty and history as I do, then it’s not too hard to let go of reality and let the legendary Queen of England, Queen Victoria, take on an even larger role in her vast empire. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see keep the kingdom free from zombies and demons than a strong-willed Queen willing to vanquish evil with her scepter.


Anno Dracula

By Kim Newman,

Book cover of Anno Dracula

Why this book?

Newman’s creative mashup brings a dizzying host of personalities into the Jack the Ripper murders as historical people and characters from fiction collide in Queen Victoria’s London. Vlad Tepes casts a long shadow across the political and social landscape. This take on Dracula himself, and other ancient vampires, is fresh and frightening and I was glad to discover it. The playful mix has Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Lestrade investigating The Ripper in a world where vampires are out in public, and Vlad is Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The bold concept works well and is a ferociously fun ride.


Larrikins, Bush Tales and Other Great Australian Stories

By Graham Seal,

Book cover of Larrikins, Bush Tales and Other Great Australian Stories

Why this book?

This is a cornucopia of the weird and wonderful in Australia: the origins of ‘mateship’, rural remedies, measuring the weather by the behaviour of birds, how ‘Waltzing Matilda’ had its origins in a shearers’ strike, and the bizarre life of the itinerant swagman, including hints on how to make a ‘swag’ and carry it according to the legendary writer Henry Lawson. There are wonderful tales of Australian ‘taciturnity’ and folks living so remotely they still thought Queen Victoria was on the throne in the mid-1900s. It may be light-hearted in tone but this book somehow gets to the heart of what makes Australians unlike anyone else in the world.  


The Royal Mob

By Theresa Sherman,

Book cover of The Royal Mob

Why 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.

Victoria R.I.

By Elizabeth Longford,

Book cover of Victoria R.I.

Why this book?

This was the first biography of Queen Victoria that I read and, to date, it remains the best! Effortlessly combing in the personal with the political, it not only portrays Victoria as a Queen but also as a woman, who could simultaneously be one of the most dominant monarchs of the 19th century, and as nervous as a child. A brilliant portrayal of a fascinating character, playing a major role in one of the most interesting eras in history!


And Only to Deceive

By Tasha Alexander,

Book cover of And Only to Deceive

Why this book?

Emily marries Philip, the Viscount Ashton, a man she hardly knows, to escape her mother. After their wedding trip, Philip, an ardent game hunter, leaves for a hunt in Africa. When Emily learns he died of a fever, she hardly grieves. As she enters her year of mourning, Emily reads Philip’s journal, astonished to learn he loved her passionately. He also collected Greek antiquities, many of which he donated to the British Museum. Emily begins to study ancient Greek literature and antiquities. (I loved learning with Emily.) When she discovers that someone—possibly Philip—either gave the British Museum forged Greek antiquities or stole the originals from the museum and substituted forgeries, Emily works to unravel this mystery and find out what really happened to her husband in Africa.


Most Beautiful Princess

By Christina Croft,

Book cover of Most Beautiful Princess

Why this book?

Don't let the title fool you, this is not a bodice-ripping romance novel by any means. This is a wonderful - and serious - novelization of the life of Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Russia. Clearly well researched, well written, with realistic character development and dialog - a treat for any Russian history or Romanov history buff! 

Some Danger Involved

By Will Thomas,

Book cover of Some Danger Involved

Why this book?

For those who prefer their mysteries to be driven by British proprieties and comforts set against compelling social issues, Will Thomas is a must-read author. 

The reader is taken downstairs and up, through gritty back alleys and up Pall Mall. You learn the city of London and its history via vivid conversation, prose, and action. I have read them all with pleasure. Listening to the audiobooks becomes necessary when you wish to immerse yourself in the varied accents, narrated by the wonderful Antony Ferguson. The mysteries are each of them excellent, but Barker and Llewellyn, enquiry agents extraordinaire, along with the supportive characters, become like dear friends with whom you wish to revisit regularly.


A Foreign Affair

By Caro Peacock,

Book cover of A Foreign Affair

Why this book?

The year is 1837 and Liberty is a fiercely independent young woman. The story begins with her crossing the Channel to find her father, only to discover that he had recently been killed in a duel. In the course of investigating what had happened, she comes upon a plot that involves treason, with the potential to spark another civil war.

What I love about Peacock’s work is her use of imagery in echoing a character’s psyche or situation. Horse lovers will enjoy Liberty’s relationship with her horse and her growing friendship with her good-hearted stable hand. I have not yet put my finger on it, but for some reason, I feel a hint of Edgar Allen Poe when I read her books.


Kings, Queens & Courtiers: Intimate Portraits of the Royal House of Windsor from its foundation to the present day

By Kenneth Rose,

Book cover of Kings, Queens & Courtiers: Intimate Portraits of the Royal House of Windsor from its foundation to the present day

Why this book?

This gazetteer for monarch-aholics is the work of the witty and waspish Kenneth Rose (1924-2014), the royal biographer whose insights have set the standard for the rest of us. Embedded in the heart of the Establishment, Rose had the ability to skewer its every weakness. Duchesses, Diana, Dimbleby (Richard) and Charlotte, George V’s pet parrot – all are here, bearing out the words of Queen Elizabeth II’s non-royal grandmother, Cecilia Bowes-Lyon: "As far as I can see, some people have to be fed royalty like sea-lions fish."


The Witches of Chiswick

By Robert Rankin,

Book cover of The Witches of Chiswick

Why this book?

If you’ve gone through life thinking that a sprout can’t be funny, this book will convince you otherwise. Barry the Sprout is the star of the show, lodged in the head of lead character Will Starling. But the whole book is a joy. Highly inventive and very funny. It involves time travel, weird conspiracy theories, Queen Victoria, the Elephant Man, Jack the Ripper, the Brentford Snail Boy, and many more. 


The Essex Serpent

By Sarah Perry,

Book cover of The Essex Serpent

Why this book?

In The Essex Serpent, Perry’s prose marvelously evokes both the prejudices and ignorance of the times (late 19th century), and the settings (the bleak estuarine marshes of east Essex, as well as Victorian London). Her characterisation is also excellent (you don’t always like the main protagonist, but you relate to her and feel her pain, as you do with many of the more peripheral characters). Plus, the storyline includes fossils (I like fossils, but that’s just me!). Perry also successfully applies modern ideas to the Victorian world, something to be avoided by all but the most skilled writers. Then there’s the plot, always making you wonder—is it supernatural, is it not?  


A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story

By Andrei Maylunas, Sergei Mironenko,

Book cover of A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story

Why this book?

An indispensable work to anyone interested in the Romanovs, and especially in the life and reign of Tsar Nicholas II. Here, in their own words from diaries and letters are the thoughts and inner-most feelings of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra, as well as numerous royal relatives – though the main focus is on Nicholas and Alexandra. Through these written words, the imperial couple and their families are revealed; they’re given a voice and come alive across more than six hundred pages of text. Interspersed as well are a variety of primary sources such as memoirs, documents, diplomatic letters, and the like. But it is the letters and diaries which take center stage and deliver an emotional read.

Russian historians Maylunas and Mironenko (he was Director of the State Archive of the Russian Federation) have done an admirable job of culling through an enormous amount of material to come up with this large, valuable volume of first-hand accounts that highlight the happiness and tragedy that surrounded the last Romanovs. It is a work, as noted by the Maylunas and Mironenko, that lets the royal individuals “tell their story themselves, in their own words.”


Love, Sex and Tragedy: Why Classics Matter

By Simon Goldhill,

Book cover of Love, Sex and Tragedy: Why Classics Matter

Why this book?

Simon Goldhill powerfully demonstrates why we remain indebted to the ancient world in so many ways. It is not just that classical columns often decorate our buildings or that classical legends inspire our films and books, our whole life still bears the cultural and psychological imprint of ancient Greece and Rome. Our current obsession with gyms, for example, stems from the Greek passion for exercising in public (and they did so naked). Gymnasium is in origin a Greek word. While Greeks and Romans took different views from us on numerous things, from romantic love to slavery, the issues they first confronted and debated still matter. Unsurprisingly for the ancient world, far from being peopled with dead white marble statues gathering dust in museums, throbbed with impassioned life. The echoes of their tumultuous lives haunt us still.


London Labour and the London Poor

By Henry Mayhew,

Book cover of London Labour and the London Poor

Why this book?

A sadly neglected masterpiece that describes a series of visits into the darker areas of the city where few rarely trod. In an extraordinary and vivid series of interviews, Mayhew gets the mudlarks, rat catchers, pure finders, and the whores of Shadwell and Seven Dials to tell their stories in their own voices.


Cogheart

By Peter Bunzl,

Book cover of Cogheart

Why 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.   


Miss Austen: A Novel of the Austen Sisters

By Gill Hornby,

Book cover of Miss Austen: A Novel of the Austen Sisters

Why this book?

Miss Austen is Cassandra, sister of the more famous Jane, who takes centre stage in this story, though Jane is there, too, as the beloved missed sister, not the novelist. The year is 1840, Jane has been dead for twenty years, Cassandra is in her sixties and though frail is on a quest to find some missing letters which may reveal secrets about Jane and Cassandra which must not be known. It’s a mystery and we want to know if Cassandra will find those letters, but it is also a touching portrait of sisterly devotion. Cassandra makes an admirable heroine, determined and resourceful despite her frailty. It also tells much about the way in which spinsters, usually ignored by society, have a rich and complex inner life.


The Lie Tree

By Frances Hardinge,

Book cover of The Lie Tree

Why this book?

Although strictly speaking this is a children’s book, I absolutely loved it as an adult reader. It explores all my favorite themes – the role of women in society, the conflict between science and religion, the darker elements of humanity – all wrapped up in murder mystery with the wonderful fantastical premise of a tree that feeds on whispered lies and whose fruit (when eaten) imparts the deepest of truths. Honestly, this novel has it all – a windswept island, forbidden truths, hidden secrets, and a deeply flawed main female character battling against societal expectations in the mid-19th Century.


One Leg: The Life and Letters of Henry William Paget : First Marquess of Angelesey 1768-1854

By Marquess of Anglesey,

Book cover of One Leg: The Life and Letters of Henry William Paget : First Marquess of Angelesey 1768-1854

Why this book?

Henry Paget, first Marquess of Anglesey, was a quintessential nobleman of his time. One of my very favorites reads, this biography by his descendent, the seventh Marquess, draws on letters and family lore to tell his story in detail: his grand tour, his military and diplomatic service, and best of all, his scandalous adultery, divorce, and remarriage. At about forty years of age, he fell deeply in love with Wellington’s sister-in-law. Her husband divorced her in England, and then the parties traveled to Scotland so that Paget’s wife could divorce him there. The story includes all the drama of divorce in the era: the action for “criminal conversation,” the ecclesiastical divorce, and a necessary duel to preserve the honor of the adulteress’s family name. 


From Life: Julia Margaret Cameron and Victorian Photography

By Victoria C. Olsen,

Book cover of From Life: Julia Margaret Cameron and Victorian Photography

Why this book?

I adore eccentric, talented women—and Julia Margaret Cameron was surely that—and I love nineteenth-century photography. When nearly 50 years old, Cameron took up photography and created her signature art of soft-focus, emotive portraiture. She was living on Britain’s Isle of Wight, surrounded by a who’s who of Victorian England: Tennyson, Lewis Carroll, Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Queen Victoria herself who summered in a nearby palace. Cameron photographed the humblest islanders as well as some of the greatest personages of the day, and her work has inspired modern artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith.