The Historiography of Queen Victoria: On the Threshold of Private Psychoanalysis and Public Feminism

Rebecca Willis
2016 Forum Journal of History  
Queen Victoria was one of the longest rulers in history, and one of the few British women to carry a nation from near revolution to empire in the course of her lifetime. With such an impressive longevity, the Queen saw many events pass by, and experienced many important landmarks in her own life as well. Living through so much rich history, she was one of the most documented monarchs. In this paper, I will critique the historiography of Queen Victoria's life. Too many historians use the
more » ... storical method to describe her life; a feminist method is necessary for a new and more accurate historiography. Commentary, however biased or politicized, was essential to the historicizing of Queen Victoria's life. Most biographers from the 20 th and 21 st centuries tend to cover her life from a psychoanalytic approach. 1 Her childhood, marriage, children, and relationship to men are all key factors of her life. Published newspaper articles, political cartoons, portraits, and children's books during her reign in the 19 th and early 20 th century depict her as a political puppet, as a stubborn, crotchety old woman, as a naive ingénue, as an attractive bride,
doi:10.15368/forum.2016v8n1.4 fatcat:ffwbgpehn5frtkmaryggfkdxqu