Ah Victoria, my latest royal love. If you, like me, have been watching Victoria on ITV (or STV or UTV, depending on where you live) then you should read this book. Shall we look at why?
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t fully watch the first series of Victoria, and so when I saw Daisy Goodwin’s book in the bookshop I decided I had to have it.
We all know of Queen Victoria, her life being documented in so many different books and TV shows, so what makes this one so different? Daisy Goodwin, while at university, started reading the diaries of Queen Victoria. Turning to the things she learnt from these diaries, Goodwin was able to write not just this novel, but the tv show I am currently loving (and mourning the ending of I must say).
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.
Following from just before the king’s death, this novel takes us through Victoria’s ascension to the throne, her initial struggles to comprehend what is expected of her, and her close relationship with Lord Melbourne and Prince Albert.
Now if you don’t know me, you won’t know of my love for all things royal – fiction or non-fiction. So to be able to delve into the head of one of the greatest monarchs the United Kingdom has seen was brilliant.
If you have a love for the royal family, or are merely interested to see what secrets the book holds that couldn’t be portrayed on the screen, then you need to get your hands on Victoria!
Have you read this book? Or have you been watching the TV series?