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I love historical fiction stories. I am sure I have shared quite a few by now for everyone to read but I found a new one recently in a book campaign. I think royal historical fiction has to be my favorite. Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin, is simply wonderful. “A Novel of a Young Queen’. Everyone thinks of Queen Victoria as old and frumpy but Daisy Goodwin was intrigued by the young queen she found in her diaries. She made a wonderful novel that shows that everyone has growing up moments, even royals. It was hard for me to think of Queen Victoria as Victoria but Daisy pulled me in.
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.
There is no question that I love to read. I carry my book around with me everywhere. We were told to think about the royal treatment when reading Victoria so I did. I laid outside in my rocking chair with the leaves falling for over an hour while reading. This book really drew me in and I was curious how much I really knew about Queen Victoria. I knew people had called her ‘having fits’ because she spoke out. I knew that she had nine children with him. And I knew that he died when he was young like 40 and she fell into a deep mourning. The widow queen. I had no idea about how their courtship went or even if they were in love. Many arranged marriages back then missed that. The troubles she faces being young, the ridicule she faces at being female and in charge, and the strength she had to show is beautifully detailed in this book. I could feel anger and sadness for her. It really pulled out the emotions while also being very informative. She had to learn who to trust and who to keep at a distance. She had to learn to run a country when most of us are still in school trying to figure out their first loves.
How do you relax with a good book? How about cocoa and cookies? Sounds good to me! I finished the novel after dinner while munching on cookies on the day I started reading and wished I had more. It ends on a perfect note in my opinion though. You should definitely check it out.