Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth in 1819, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. Born into a world where women were often powerless, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers. She gave birth to nine children and survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security, queen of a quarter of the world's population at the height of the British Empire's reach. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, combating anxiety, searching for meaning. This vivid, intelligent and spirited biography gives us the real woman behind the myth: a bold, glamorous, unbreakable queen, a Victoria for our times, a Victoria who endured.