For a long time now I have become evermore fascinated by the life of Queen Victoria, and thus the Victorian era.
After reading a series of different historical novels and becoming a huge fan of the ‘Victoria Letters’ (A book based on the latest ITV Drama ‘Victoria’) I came across a similar paperback by Daisy Goodwin, also the screenwriter of the popular television series where she also had a minor cameo role as Lady Cecilia Underwood in Episode 6 (‘The Queen’s Husband).
The book itself is a detailed account of the early life of Queen Victoria, telling it almost as if it is a story, however in a beautifully written way, easy to follow. When reading the book, you feel as if you are following a storyline, when in actual fact you are reading about history. I found this method of storytelling great to use as it instantly seizes the readers’ keenness for learning about such important British history.
You feel a strong sense of admiration from the young Queen, as she powers on through the hardest of duties at such a young age and remains headstrong despite sway from her Mother and Uncle. However, there is a great deal of sadness to the life of Victoria especially when exposed to her unhappy childhood, provoking a great sense of sympathy for her. A book in particular, which captures this in even more detail and gives more on Victoria’s childhood is ‘The Captive of Kensington Palace’ By Jean Plaidy- another promising read.
There are also passages on the relationship between Victoria and Albert and the initial imprint of how their romance began is shown to the reader.
Another element that is conveyed through the book is the interplay between Politics and the Monarchy and how the two must act in accordance. This focuses particularly about the help she received by Lord Melbourne (her Prime Minister at the time she became Queen) along the way.
In summary, the book is a utterly fascinating read, especially for those interested in Queen Victoria and additionally those wanting a greater insight into her early life as Queen. I would highly recommend!
“I went into my sitting room (only in my dressing gown) alone and saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at twelve minutes past two this morning and consequently that I was Queen.”
– A recollection of when Victoria found out she was to become Queen, June 1837.