Rating: 4/5 rides around the square.
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been interested in European monarchies. I’m not sure what exactly started this fascination, but it’s certainly there. So, after reading “The American Heiress” by Daisy Goodwin, I was told that I needed to pick up her novel, “Victoria”. Well I didn’t care for the first novel, but knowing who this one was about I felt like I had to give it a shot. I’m happy to say that I’m glad that I did!
““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.””
Reading something that portrays Queen Victoria as a young girl during becoming Queen of Great Britain and Ireland when those around her doubted her so strongly sheds a new light on my opinion of the woman who ruled for so long. Goodwin’s story made Victoria seem like an incredibly relatable woman who is determined to show what she is capable of and did she ever! Moving into Buckingham Palace and distancing herself as far as possible from her overbearing mother while being resolute in meeting with her advisors and ministers alone as a king would regardless of her size and sex, she was not a queen to be messed with. Add in the intellectual, witty romance between herself and Lord Melbourne that could not become anything more than a verbal flirtation and you have a great story in your hands. I enjoyed this story way more than I was at first expecting to and it has changed my mind about the author’s writing style in a positive way.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Queen Victoria, royal politics, and a forbidden romance. Those fans of big action scenes and such may not care for it, but those who are looking for a simply good story will enjoy this one.
I was fortunate to receive this ARC copy in exchange for an honest review by LibraryThing.com and St. Martin's Press.
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….
Published on 11/22/2016 by St. Martin’s Press.
Page Count: 404
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
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~~~~~~~~~~About the Author~~~~~~~~~~
Daisy Goodwin, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia University’s film school after earning a degree in history at Cambridge University, is a leading television producer in the U.K. Her poetry anthologies, including 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, have introduced Manu new readers to the pleasures of poetry, and she was Chair of the judging panel of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. She and her husband, an ABC TV executive, have two daughters and live in London.
To learn more about Mrs. Goodwin, visit her website by clicking her image above.