Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The American Heiress and
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone. One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband…. Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel."
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Victoria has lived a sheltered life before she became the Queen Victoria that we are all familiar with. Her mother didn't let her socialize or experience much outside of the walls of house, so in turn she doesn't know much about the world. At eighteen years of age, she find herself the Queen and with this comes not only great responsibility, but also a chance for her to carve out her own path. Thanks to Lord Melbourne, the prime minister, she learns the ins and outs of her life as Queen. There's one problem though. She starts to feel something for her much older advisor, Lord Melbourne, but she knows she can't possibly allow herself to love him. To complicate matters further, her uncle has come to court to remind her that she is destined to marry Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but last time Victoria saw him, she was completely turned off. Daisy Goodwin's Victoria is an interesting glimpse into a lesser known Victoria. Readers get to know the Victoria that just arrived to the throne and the young woman who was finding her way.
I only knew the basic information about Victoria when I read this novel, but I love that Goodwin sheds so much light on her path to the throne as well as her life before Albert. The dynamic with her mother was especially interesting and I desperately wanted Victoria to break free from her mother's controlling grip. As any young woman will experience, Victoria struggled with her newfound freedom and although she didn't make the best decision at every turn, I still was rooting for her.
Her relationship with Lord Melbourne in Victoria was an interesting one. I could see the appeal of a well-respected man who actually supports her....a man with power and charm, but I knew that not only was he entirely too old for her, I was desperately waiting for Albert's arrival to court. And with that came my frustration. I was 70% through Victoria and there was no Albert yet! I was desperately waiting for his entrance and once he arrived, I was thrilled and loved his complex relationship with Victoria as well as his relationship with his charismatic brother.
So, if you are like me and love all things historical fiction as well as British Royalty, you will definitely want to check out Victoria this fall, especially before the show airs this January on PBS. I can't wait!
Pre-order the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!