To mark the bicentenary of Queen Victoria's birth, the TLS's history editor David Horspool guides us through all manner of Victorian matters, including the Widow of Windsor's mastery of soft power, how different things might have been had she been born a boy, how the Victorians amused themselves, and the Rebecca Riots; we also have a symposium in this week's paper, asking writers and thinkers – including Steven Pinker and Bernardine Evaristo – to tell us about the important books from their childhoods. To discuss this – and to share our own youthful reading – we're joined in the studio by a [insert collective noun here] of TLS editors 

Go to www.the-tls.co.uk/ to read a selection of articles from our Victorian special issue, and much more.

Our symposium was prompted by an initiative – Books To Inspire – launched by Hay Festival Wales, aiming to compile a crowd-sourced list of titles to inspire the next generation. Find out more at hayfestival.com

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