#BookReview: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

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victoria2About the Book

“Victoria is an absolutely captivating novel of youth, love, and the often painful transition from immaturity to adulthood. Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria’s story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit.”
– AMANDA FOREMAN

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 Victoriaand 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.

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Aries the Vizsla enjoyed it too!

My Review:

Historical fiction isn’t one I read often, but I do like to pick up a good novel and travel back in time every so often. I have read from Daisy Goodwin in the past (see my review here for The American Heiress) and I knew coming into this book that Goodwin is a fantastic story-teller. What I took away most from this read is how much I enjoyed getting Victoria’s back story and how she prepared to be Queen of England at just eighteen. It was fascinating as a women to read how the men doubted her simply because of her gender, something that was an issue in the 1800s, and yet still today.

I’m a big fan of the Royals, keeping up with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry, and of course, Duchess Kate. The monarchy continues to fascinate me as much in my twenties as it did when I was a young girl looking up to Princess Diana and pretending to meet my own Prince Charming. What I really enjoyed about Victoria was all the history, the traditions, and how utterly entertaining this was to me.

From teenager to Queen, following Victoria’s journey was actually much more relatable than I would have expected before starting this read. From her own doubts and insecurities, the intimate look we get left me one happy reader all the way until the end.

4 stars

victoria1About the Author

When I was eighteen I went to Cambridge University to study history. MY first assignment was Queen Victoria and the media. I went to the library to consult her Diaries. She wrote sixty two million words in her life time and as I pulled out the first leather bound volume I felt overwhelmed by its size and weight. But then it fell open at the entry for 3rd Nov 1839, ” I saw me dearest Albert who was all wet in his white cashmere breeches with nothing on underneath.” As I laughed out loud, the other readers looked at me in disapproval. Queen Victoria, I decided then, was not the boot faced old bag with a bonnet I had imagined, but a woman after my own heart.
All my novels have been set in the Victorian era: The American Heiress is about a dollar princess called Cora Cash who marries an English duke; The Fortune Hunter is the story of Sisi, the beautiful Austrian Empress who came to England to hunt – in the novel Sisi meets Victoria. I enjoyed writing this encounter so much – Victoria”s voice came so easily to me, that I decided that my next next novel would be about the young Victoria. But as I started writing it, I thought it would make a great tv drama, which is how I ended up writing the PBS Masterpiece series Victoria, as well as my novel Victoria, a novel of a young Queen.
When I am not immersed in the nineteenth century, I live in London with three dogs, two daughters and a husband.

Pre-Order Your Copy!

Available November 22

Amazon: bit.ly/VictoriaNovel

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/2fwrWJp

 

Emily Giffin

giffinEmily Giffin, author of best selling titles such as Something Borrowed and Something Blue, found a love for writing at a young age. She wrote her first book at the age of six, and had a poem published in a magazine at the tender age of twelve. In high school, Giffin was the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, and signed up for creative writing classes, already well aware of her goal to become an author.

Giffin graduated from Wake Forest University and then moved on to the University of Virginia School of Law. After realizing the legal industry was not for her, Giffin began to write in her free time, hopes of becoming an author evident again. Her first novel was rejected by eight publishers (standard practice to most up and coming writers) and five days after 9/11, Giffin retired from law practice, and like Darcy is her second book, moved to London.

Emily Giffin married at the age of 30, and also signed a two book contract with the well known St. Martin’s Press. Something Borrowed and Something Blue were released at their respective times and both became best sellers. Giffin is also author of titles Baby Proof and Love the One You’re With, and has sold the film rights of her first two novels to Hilary Swank and the production company Wild Ocean Films. She is currently writing her fifth novel, Heart of the Matter, due for release in the spring of 2010.

In her personal life, Emily Giffin was married in 2002 and welcomed twin boys Edward and George on New Years Eve of 2003. The family welcomed a daughter, Harriet in 2007. They now live Atlanta, Georgia.

Official Website: http://www.emilygiffin.com