Unsuitable for Publication: Editing Queen Victoria
Black Inc., $29.99 pb, 288 pp, 9781863955942
When Queen Victoria died she had ruled the British Empire for sixty-three years. In the same year as her ascent to the throne, the capital of the colony of Victoria was christened Melbourne, after her first prime minister. She died in 1901, soon after Federation. After her death, her real character remained largely unknown for decades (Lytton Strachey’s seminal biography was still twenty years hence). The public regarded Victoria as dour and was oblivious to her remarkable qualities. Any concern for her reputation was then lost beneath the carnage of two world wars and multiple mass conflicts. How this happened is the subject of Unsuitable for Publication.