When I first plucked the rather thick paperback from the shelves on my all too frequent purge of bookshop shelves, I was sceptical. I’d never enjoyed a historical biography before, not even on my favourite people in history, let alone those I already knew much about. However, my love for Lucy Worsley’s charming television documentaries and explanation of the otherwise difficult to understand areas of history, I figured I’d give her biography of Queen Victoria a go. And, oh, was I pleasantly surprised.

Far from my usual area of reading, I opened the book not expecting much. However, I was drawn in by the detailed family tree which, even through I already knew, found useful to refer back to over the course of Queen Victoria’s life story.

The biography read more like a novel than anything else, a fantastical account of perhaps on of the greatest British women to have ever lived. The characters that stifled and enriched Victoria’s life were described so vividly, so expertly by Worsley, I started to think of them as I would any other fictional characters. To this book I also owe my renewal of the love of the 19th Century and its quirks, its monarchs and its enlightenment. Because of Worsley’s clear gift in making a biography of the queen seen mostly as the little old lady sitting on a throne in black, the widow of Windsor, into a soap-opera of a novel, I have ventured away from stubbornly refusing to read non-fiction.