Julia Baird’s biography of Queen Victoria is not the first. But this modern take on a female leader written by a highly regarded political journalist is an important addition. Crowned at just 18, Victoria went on to rule over a quarter of the world’s population – and a busy household with nine children. Julia talks to Annabel Crabb about this robust, sometimes controversial but powerful woman who still influences our world. 

Julia Baird (Australian)

Julia Baird

Julia Baird is a globally renowned author, journalist and broadcaster. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV, and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. After her first book, Media Tarts – which was based on her PhD in history about the portrayal of female politicians – was published in 2005, she moved to the United States to take up a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. When she was deputy editor of Newsweek in New York, she began work on a major biography of Queen Victoria, which was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. Her most recent book is Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark.

Annabel Crabb (Australian)

Annabel Crabb

Annabel Crabb is a writer and presenter for the ABC. She's also a keen amateur podcaster and co-hosts the inexplicably popular Chat 10, Looks 3 podcast with her colleague Leigh Sales, who lends credibility to the exercise. Annabel has worked extensively in newspapers, radio and TV as a political journalist and won a Walkley Award for Stop At Nothing: The Life And Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull. She published a bestselling book about gender and work, The Wife Drought, in 2014 and has published two cookbooks with childhood friend Wendy Sharpe, the latest of which is Special Guest. Her most recent Quarterly Essay is Men at Work.