Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster, and author based in Sydney, Australia. She is a columnist for the International New York Times and host of The Drum on ABC TV (Australia). Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, and Harper's Bazaar. She has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Sydney. In 2005, Baird was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
"Victoria the Queen, Julia Baird's exquisitely wrought and meticulously researched biography, brushes the dusty myth off this extraordinary monarch. Right out of the gate, the book thrums with authority as Baird builds her portrayal of Victoria. Overturning stereotypes, she rips this queen down to the studs and creates her anew. . . . Baird's Victoria isn't the woman we expect to meet. Her queen is a pure iconoclast: emotional, demonstrative, sexual and driven. . . . Baird writes in the round. She constructs a dynamic historical figure, then spins out a spherical world of elegant reference, anchoring the narrative in specific detail and pinning down complex swaths of history that, in less capable hands, would simply blow away."--The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
"In this in-depth look at a feminist before her time, you'll balk at, cheer on, and mourn the obstacles in the life of the teen queen who grew into her throne."--Marie Claire "Exhilarating . . . [A] frisky, adventurous new biography . . . This book shows how Victoria's girlish naughtiness turned into a regal, willful, complex nature that other biographers have tended to simplify. . . . [Julia] Baird brings a strong feminist awareness to the ways in which Victoria's letters, edited by two men, have been censored to excise the full range of her personality, and also to the subordinate role any wife was expected to assume when Victoria was a young bride."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times "Fascinating."--Vogue "In Baird's deft portrayal, Victoria lives, breathes, and struts before us in all her complexity. . . . On a geopolitical level, Baird's sweeping historical portrait also illuminates just how interconnected the European royal families were during this time. . . . Historical astuteness aside, the pages gallop along enhanced by titillating morsels of info."--Esquire "A vivid portrait of one of England's longest-reigning monarchs."--Entertainment Weekly "[A] success from start to finish . . . [Baird's] Victoria is a vivid, visceral creature. . . . Baird also does a lively, excellent job of detailing Victoria's later years. . . . [She] paints a touching picture of those final decades, during which Victoria strove to feel alive despite the fact that the great love of her life was dead."--The Christian Science Monitor "Like the best biographers, Baird writes like a novelist, and her book is crammed with irresistible detail and description."--The Seattle Times "Baird thoroughly and engagingly strives to restore a truer perspective of both woman and sovereign in her fine work, Victoria: The Queen. . . . Baird's biography successfully presents the queen in all of her roles, some of which were contradictory, to show how Victoria did indeed have a mind of her own--despite her husband and prime ministers--and lived and ruled the way she thought best."--Chicago Tribune