"Victoria is an absolutely captivating novel of youth, love, and the often painful transition from immaturity to adulthood. Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit."
– AMANDA FOREMAN
Drawing on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin—creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria and author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter—brings the young nineteenth-century monarch, who would go on to reign for 63 years, richly to life in this magnificent novel.
Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world.
Despite her age, however, the young queen is no puppet. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.
“I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.”
Next, people say she must choose a husband. Everyone keeps telling her she’s destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.
On June 19th, 1837, she was a teenager. On June 20th, 1837, she was a queen. Daisy Goodwin’s impeccably researched and vividly imagined new book brings readers Queen Victoria as they have never seen her before.
Inspired by the diaries of Queen Victoria, British TV producer and author Goodwin (The American Heiress) mines a rich vein of royal history with the ascension of the impetuous and imperious 18-year-old whose sole companions were dolls and a lapdog to the English throne in 1837. "Your subjects are not dolls to be played with. To be a queen, you have to be more than a little girl with a crown," scolds a dying lady of the court whom Victoria has cruelly shamed. It is a heartbreaking lesson as the new monarch navigates the palace and political intrigues under the guidance of her charming and lovelorn prime minister, Lord Melbourne. It's this relationship between the impressionable teen and her attentive middle-aged adviser that forms the irresistible emotional center of Goodwin's rich and passionate historical novel. "When you give your heart it will be without hesitation... but you cannot give it to me," Melbourne tells Victoria after she confesses that her prime minister is "the only companion I could ever desire." Rejected, Victoria begins the stormy and politically fraught courtship with her German cousin and future husband, Albert. That true-life ending, however, pales in comparison to Goodwin's timeless recounting of a young girl's aching first love.
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An excellent book surprising in it’s lively portrait of the real Queen Victoria.
An excellent book surprising in it’s lively portrait of the real
Goodwin does it again!
Alexandrina Victorine,only 18 years old,becomes Queen Victoria, a title that seems almost bigger than she is. This book focuses on her early adjustments, her friendship with Lord Melbourne, thee then Whig Prime Minister, her dealings with the money and power grubbing relatives and wanna bes, and how hard she fought to be respected when as an isolated child, she was anything but.
With an often misquoted line from Shakespeare’s Henry V that “heavy is the head that wears the crown”, we she in this tome, the young child become the young adult. With the help of Melbourne, Victoria learns just how to lead. In fact, I doubt she would have flourished into the wise monarch we all hear about.
In the 62 million words- reported by Goodwin- Victoria’s journals contain, we see the whole woman struggling with growing up, learning to speak for herself and not only make decisions a young lady needed to, but decisions for the betterment of an Empire that “the sun never set on.”
According to the afterward of the book, Dausy Goodwin, the author, says that Victoria “was the most un-Victorian of heroines”. She must propose according to State law, although it is felt that, on some level, she had deferred to her elders in even thinking about marrying Albert. And Albert, too, acted differently than a man of his time, having only eyes for his beloved rather than the roving eye that was usual for a married man of the time.
In “Victoria”, Daisy Goodwin, author and screenwriter of the BBC miniseries of the same name, writes about Victoria before Albert. The second book in the series “Victoria and Albert: A Royal Love Affair” picks up after the proposal and promises to continue this wonderful love story not only between these two people, but between a monarch and her country. Highly recommended. 5/5
Captivating & Engrossing
Victoria is a compelling well-written, historical fiction novel, depicting the early reign of Queen Victoria.
Alexandrina Victoria became the Queen of England at the age of eighteen. Victoria had been sheltered to an extreme extent by her mother and Sir John, so that when she became the Queen, she wasn’t as prepared as she should have been. Her mother, and Sir John, both assumed that Victoria would come to them for assistance. They were wrong. Victoria refused all of their counsel. She leaned instead heavily, on her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, for advice.
Victoria and Lord Melbourne developed deep feelings for one another. It was, however, a relationship that could never truly be. Regardless of what the Prime Minister wanted, he put Queen Victoria’s well-being above everything and did what was necessary, even though, he knew it would hurt him. Queen Victoria’s family conspired behind her back. They wanted to strip her of her power. Lord Melbourne stepped in, though, and saved the Queen from ruin.
Since this is to be a TV series, I’m sure that there will be a book two. I’m looking forward to reading about the Queen’s life with Prince Albert. I felt as if the book came to its conclusion too abruptly, but in truth, it’s probably because I didn’t want it to end.
I highly recommend this well-written, character-driven book about Queen Victoria. It’s engrossing, captivating, and unputdownable. I loved it.
I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.