This is the third and last volume in Tyler Whittle's respectable, responsible (""no liberties"" taken) triptych of Queen Victoria which -- since it has appeared at intervals -- is presumably less likely to overwhelm the average reader than the extensive biographies of Lady Longford and Woodham-Smith. This opens with the death of her Prince Consort and her terrible bereavement which left her determined to spend the (long) rest of her life in memoriam, observing all the principles he would have espoused. John Brown appears here (""nothing romantic at all"") as the primary means of her attempting to reach Albert on the other side -- Brown was reputed to have had extrasensory powers -- although much later he will appear again as her ""best and truest friend."" As was Lady Churchill, who stayed by her side until a few days before the end. The years go on and Victoria expands with them -- surely she could have accommodated three pug dogs on that lap -- but always, with her eye for the fallibilities of her children (particularly the callow, shallow Bertie) and her ""nose for humbug,"" she was a figure of downright common sense, mourning as time went on not only Albert but the loss of values they both respected. The audience for these books should have declared itself by now -- a careful, undemonstrative work with no pinchbeck nonsense to which Victoria would have said ""Stuff.