This is one of the best biographies of any person I've ever read, and I've read a great many. The author weaves in a clear history--social, economic, and political--of the periods of Victoria's life. It is difficult to keep track of her children, their spouses, her grandchildren, etc., because of the propensity to repeat names over generations. I disagree with the author's conclusion that she was mentally ill in the 1860s and 70s--I think that's a male reaction to what was surely the time of her menopause. But this is a well-fleshed out biography otherwise and thoroughly edifying.