Queen Victoria

This Thorny Crown

Michael Ledger-Lomas author


Publisher:Oxford University Press

Published:8th Apr '21


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Queen Victoria cover

This biography evokes the pervasive importance of religion to Queen Victoria's life but also that life's centrality to the religion of Victorians around the globe. The first comprehensive exploration of Victoria's religiosity, it shows how moments in her life--from her accession to her marriage and her successive bereavements--enlarged how she defined and lived her faith. It portrays a woman who had simple convictions but a complex identity that suited her multinational Kingdom: a determined Anglican who preferred Presbyterian Scotland; an ardent Protestant who revered her husband's Lutheran homeland but became sympathetic towards Roman Catholicism and Islam; a moralizing believer in the religion of the home who scorned Sabbatarianism. Drawing on a systematic reading of her journals and a rich selection of manuscripts from British and German archives, Michael Ledger-Lomas sheds new light not just on Victoria's private beliefs but also on her activity as a monarch, who wielded her powers energetically in questions of church and state. Unlike a conventional biography, this book interweaves its account of Victoria's life with a panoramic survey of what religious communities made of it. It shows how different churches and world religions expressed an emotional identification with their Queen and Empress, turning her into an embodiment of their different and often rival conceptions of what her Empire ought to be. The result is a fresh vision of a familiar life, which also explains why monarchy and religion remained close allies in the nineteenth-century British world.

The writing is wonderful. Ledger-Lomas has a particular gift for immersive, image laden descriptions that bring the past to life. The variety of sources consulted in the research for this book also add to its ability to assess the multidimensional importance of Victoria's faith...is an excellent scholarly examination of Victoria's religious life. While previous biographers may have skimped on the nature and role of Christianity in and through her life and reign, all future scholars of Victoria and her era will find this essential reading. * Andrew Michael Jones, Scottish Church History *
The author of this book is to be congratulated for taking up the important project of exploring Queen Victoria's spiritual life. It is a worthy addition to the Oxford University Press series, Spiritual Lives. Covering the span of Victoria's long life, the work of dealing with the private life of such a public figure is no easy endeavor. * KENNETH L. PARKER, Duquesne University, newman studies journal *
Ledger-Lomas' deep understanding shines through the text....an enjoyable and worthwhile read. * Tyler Streckert, Fides et Historia *
Ledger-Lomas breaks new ground in his reframing of the story of Victoria's long reign and the place of religin within it. * Peter Nockles, University of Manchester, Journal of Ecclesiatical History *
This is wonderful stuff * Arianne Chernock, American Historical Review *
Ledger-Lomas shows that "religious meaning" in Victoria's long reign was complex, fluid, and of many strands. * G. M. Stearns, CHOICE *
This engaging book succeeds in reinterpreting Victoria's religious faith and impact; it is recommended for all interested in nineteenth-century Anglicanism and the relationship between the church and the monarchy. * Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, Anglican and Episcopal History *
Queen Victoria This Thorny Crown presents an enjoyable and worthwhile read. * Tyler Streckert, Independent Historian *
Readers with an appetite for the detail, complexity and nuance of an age now long past will learn much from this book. A lasting contribution to our understanding of Britain's most famous monarch, it is a remarkable debut by a major new scholar of religion. * Simon Devereaux, Ormsby Review *
...splendid... * Church Times *
Ledger-Lomas breaks new ground in his reframing of the story of Victoria's long reign and the place of religion within it...This book, full of shrewd and penetrating insights, deserves to be widely studied and reflected upon. * Peter Nockles, University of Manchester, Journal of Ecclesiastical History *
This thorny crown sits a very persuasive analysis of the Queen's ecclesiastical politics...This is an important book. It adds to the growing reappraisal of Queen Victoria as a monarch, restoring her as an agent in her own history. * Miles Taylor, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Germany, History: Reviews of New Books *
This book, full of shrewd and penetrating insights, deserves to be widely studied and reflected upon. * Peter Nockles, Journal of Ecclesiastical History *

ISBN: 9780198753551

Dimensions: 206mm x 137mm x 26mm

Weight: 500g

368 pages