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Synopsis

In the 19th century, a revolution took place in how we ate - from the highest table in the land to the most humble. Annie Gray's book is both a biography of Britain's most iconic monarch, and a look at the changing nature of cooking and eating in the Victorian era.

From her early years living on milk and bread under the Kensington system, to her constant indigestion and belligerent over-eating as an elderly woman, her diet will be examined, likes and dislikes charted, and the opinions of those around her considered. More than that, though, this book will take a proper look below stairs. Victoria was surrounded by servants, from ladies-in-waiting, to secretaries, dressers and coachmen. But there was another category of servant, more fundamental, and yet at the same time more completely hidden: her cooks.

From her greed to her selfishness at the table, her indigestion and her absolute reliance on food as a lifelong companion, with her when so many others either died or were forced away by political factors, Victoria had a huge impact on the way we all eat today. Annie Gray gives us a new perspective on Britain's longest reigning monarch, viewing her through the one thing more dear to her than almost anything else: her stomach.

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