Shooting Victoria : Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy, Hardback

Shooting Victoria : Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy Hardback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


During her long reign, Queen Victoria was the target of no fewer than eight assassination attempts.

In seven of these cases her life was saved by poor marksmanship or misfiring weaponry, but one assailant managed to strike her with a finely wrought cane.

Remarkably, all eight of her attackers lived to tell their tales, and were variously incarcerated in asylums, deported to Australia, or in a few cases eventually released into society again.

Paul Thomas Murphy shows how these obscure would-be assassins effected a change in history.

Their attacks on Victoria galvanised her to face them down by presenting a more public face than her forebears, thereby laying the groundwork for the monarchy as we know it today.

SHOOTING VICTORIA opens up a new window onto Victorian England.

In exploring contemporary attitudes to madness, crime and criminality, it reveals a wealth of little-known and often surprising aspects of 19th-century British society and monarchy.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 688 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9781781851272



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During her reign Queen Victoria survived seven assassination attempts. [Shooting Victoria] tells the story of each of those attempts and describes how they changed the monarchy's relationship with the nation and changed the legal and political relationship between Government and monarch. Along the way [[Paul Thomas Murphy]] provides potted historical summaries, curious coincidences and trips down Victorian byways that entertain as much as enlighten. This is a wonderful book that provides a clear and detailed historical examination of a little-explored aspect of Victorian history and uses that to explain larger themes in the development of Victorian society. The Queen's relationships with her Government and people were not always smooth, but Murphy shows how all sides used her surviving these assassination attempts as ways to bring all sides closer together and to strengthen the monarchy in a century when republicanism was a powerful force across the globe.