5 reviews

Victoria: A novel of a young queen by the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS
by Daisy Goodwin

Published: 2016-11-22
Hardcover : 416 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members


"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."

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"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."

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.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of November 2016: For a monarch, there's perhaps no greater historical compliment than to have a time period named after you. Daisy Goodwin, author of The American Heiress, spotlights Victoria's earliest moments on the throne, from the days before her coronation, to her first clash with Parliament and the venerable Lord Wellington, and finally the moment when she proposes to her cousin, Prince Albert. As the 18-year-old queen assumes her regal duties, Victoria discovers the limitations of her governmental powers even as she spreads her wings as a woman who has escaped out from under her mother's thumb and can finally rule herself. There are dramatic missteps along the way, and more than once the reader may find Victoria unsympathetic. However, Goodwin does a deft job in her novelization of Victoria's first two years as monarch, exploring the emotional challenges for a young, sheltered woman who now sits on the throne of a powerful country. Some personages are little more than cardboard, but those who matter in this narrative—Lord Melbourne, Prince Albert, and Victoria herself—are penned with more detail, revealing an appealing and vulnerable side to a queen later viewed as nigh unassailable. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review



Kensington Palace, June 20th, 1837

When she opened her eyes, Victoria saw a faint sliver of light coming through the shutters. She could hear her mother breathing in the big bed on the other side of the room. But not for much longer. Soon, Victoria thought, she would have her own bedroom. Soon she would be able to walk down the stairs without holding Lehzen’s hand; soon she would be able to do whatever she pleased. She had celebrated her eighteenth birthday last month, so when the moment came, she would reign alone. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Where do you think Victoria gets the strength to stand up against her family and others who try to advise her against her own beliefs about her role as Queen?

What do you think Victoria's life would have been like if she had chosen Lord M. over her cousin Albert?

What was the most interesting thing about Victoria that you learned while reading this book? Do you feel the same way about her than you did before you read the book?

Are there any modern-day world leaders you would compare to the young Victoria?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Victoria"by Marcia55 (see profile) 02/24/18

Our bookclub loved this book and storyline. Interesting story between Victoria and Lord Melbourne.

by Pauline77 (see profile) 03/03/17

by Christie Lambert (see profile) 02/22/17

by acoleman (see profile) 01/10/17

by DeDe2011 (see profile) 12/27/16

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