Author: Daisy Goodwin
Published by: St. Martin's Press on Nov. 22, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley
Book Rating: 7.5/10
“They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”
Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”
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.
This is a fascinating interpretation about the life of Alexandrina Victoria, a young, sheltered girl who became the Queen of England at the age of eighteen, and her dependence and close relationship with the then mature Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.
It is a story about familial responsibilities, monarchical duties, coming-of-age, friendship, and love.
Queen Victoria’s early reign was during a time when government was in turmoil, the parties in power were changing and the populace was highly critical of the choices and decisions made by the monarchy, and although she was small in stature and seemingly immature she possessed a confidence and strength beyond her years.
The prose is clear and fluid. And the story line takes us into a short time in Queen Victoria’s life when she may have had a strong reliance, attraction, and reverence for the British statesman, Melbourne.
Overall, even though this book is only centred on Victoria’s life from her early teens to her marriage proposal to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in her early twenties, it is quite intriguing and captivating and definitely a good choice for anyone interested in the British Monarchy.
This novel is due to be published on November 22, 2016.
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Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.