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

Dr Julia Baird is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. After the publication of her first book, Media Tarts, she moved to the United States to take up a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2007, she became senior editor of Newsweek in New York. Her work has earned her four Walkley Our Watch awards, a Walkley Award for team election reporting and two further Walkley nominations. Julia’s bestselling biography of Queen Victoria was published in several countries to critical acclaim and was one of The New York Times top ten books of 2016. In 2020 she published Phosphorescence which went onto become the highest-selling Australian non-fiction title of the year and has subsequently been named Book of the Year by the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Indie Book Awards and the ABA Booksellers’ Choice Awards.

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.