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Victoria
"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The...
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Overall

Created: 01/13/17

Replies: 26

Posted Jan. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debrals

Join Date: 11/28/11

Posts: 35

Overall

Did you like the book and why?


Posted Jan. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurief

Join Date: 09/08/12

Posts: 25

RE: Overall

Victoria kept me engaged as I followed her through her trials and tribulations as a young monarch.

The reader felt the attraction between Victoria and Melbourne as well as the angst of her relationship with her mother and Conroy.

As she conceded to the arrangement with her cousin Albert, the reader did not know what to expect but was pleased with the outcome . . . finally.


Posted Jan. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
texanne

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 14

RE: Overall

I love historical fiction because it gives us an opportunity to consider more about history in an easily accessible way. I tend to read such portrayals with a lot of skepticism because I don't know how closely the author has adhered to the truth or whether the facts have been loosely applied.


Posted Jan. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 89

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RE: Overall

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoy reading about historical figures. This one humanize the young queen and gave us great insight. I look forward to seeing the portrayals in the tv series


Posted Jan. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maribethr

Join Date: 10/29/14

Posts: 16

RE: Overall

Whenever we have visited England, the tour guides can never tell you enough about Victoria and Albert. Just a short ride through the city shines a light on how often Victoria left monuments to her beloved. While I have always had the tour guide narrative in mind, I was happy to have an opportunity to learn more in depth about this unique royal pair. I kept asking myself where she managed to command the fortitude and resilience to reign in the face of those who would have liked to have kept her as a figurehead instead of a as a ruler. It is hard for me to picture an 18 year old with as much presence of mind and spirit. This was an enjoyable read.


Posted Jan. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 99

Expert

RE: Overall

I did enjoy this book and it kept me reading. It was amazing that she was so independent after her years of isolation. The book really put a human spin on her and revealed her character. I liked the tension in the book between characters (i.e. Victoria, her mother and Conroy; and between Albert and Lord M). The characters were believable and well written. It was not a deep book but it was entertaining and an enjoyable read.


Posted Jan. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lbellg

Join Date: 02/23/14

Posts: 33

RE: Overall

For a book so celebrated by the publisher and to have a PBS series based on it, I was disappointed with the thinness of the characters, the scattered prose and how closely if followed a pulp-fiction model versus literary fiction. I enjoyed the story line but the writing was not very good. I was therefore surprised that it was a feature for BookBrowse. This work doesn't hold even a weak candle to the other books I've reviewed through this site (The Light Between Oceans, The Storied Life Of A.J. Fickery for example).


Posted Jan. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

Expert

RE: Overall

In response to lbellg - I thought the same about the writing until I went and read some snippets from Queen Victoria's journals. The full journals are online but sadly only available to those logging in from the UK but snippets can be found in various places. For example:
https://www.royal.uk/sites/default/files/media/victoria.pdf

To my ear, this extract from Queen Victoria's first meeting with Melbourne sounds very much like the voice in the book:

"At 9 came Lord Melbourne, whom I saw in my room, and of COURSE quite ALONE as I shall always do all my Ministers. He kissed my hand and I then acquainted him that it had long been my intention to retain him and the rest of the present Ministry at the head of affairs, and that it could not be in better hands than his ... He then read to me the Declaration which I was to read to the Council, which he wrote himself and which is a very fine one. I then talked with him some little longer time after which he left me ... I like him very much and feel confidence in him. He is a very straightforward, honest, clever and good man. I then wrote a letter to the Queen."

Also from https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/queen-victorias-teenage-diaries-1912/

"NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!"

Davina - BB Editor


Posted Jan. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrainep

Join Date: 07/13/16

Posts: 26

RE: Overall

Thanks Davina it was a help in deciding if this was real or just a sweet little love song. I still need more research to reach a definitive conclusion. It was a very YA love story without much historical meat, just some soppy cream. It was an enjoyable, easy read without to many characters to mix up.


Posted Jan. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

Expert

RE: Overall

I questioned the historical meat as well, but then I fact checked a number of specifics that felt wrong to me and each time I found that the author had it correct. I posted on this in another topic https://www.bookbrowse.com/booktalk/messages.cfm?threadid=871B4F68-F966-94F5-80CFC2BAFFCB31CB


Posted Jan. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 42

RE: Overall

I liked the book and found it to be an easy read. As mentioned in other readers' earlier comments, whenever I read a novel based on true events or historical figures, I think it's important to remember that this is fiction, and makes me wonder how accurate the events and character portrayals are. I knew very little about Queen Victoria before I read this book. Now I want to read more!


Posted Jan. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

Expert

RE: Overall

Davina—after reading your response, your explanation seems reasonable to me, yet I still have the opinion this book could have been written better; perhaps the read is too easy! Fiction does mean something but there must be substance and develpment to the written story to be successful. (Although I do realize this is a best seller right out the door.)


Posted Jan. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suelizbeth

Join Date: 01/15/17

Posts: 12

RE: Overall

I very much enjoyed the book. It was a quick read and I think it gave an accurate portrayal of how an 18 year old girl would react to suddenly being Queen. Coming out of her isolation, she was at a disadvantage. It is no wonder that at times she acted like a child. I thought that she was selfish, but that arose out of her privilege and her ignorance. She chose wisely in Lord M as her adviser and she chose wisely in Albert as her husband. It is unfortunate that some of those who advised her gave her misinformation about her mother. She was quick to believe ill about those whom she disliked, to her detriment.


Posted Jan. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanw

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 25

RE: Overall

I really liked this book and have recommended it to my book club. I would like to read more about Victoria after she and Albert married - how they got along - how they managed her reign - did they share it - did she rely on Albert to assist her? It was an easy read - she did stand up for herself which is surprising from how she was raised and not educated the way she should have been - and kept away from people. It was like when she became Queen she was finally free (or so she t hought) and she was. She was a very independent woman.
I anxiously wait to see the PBS movie and how much it was like the book.


Posted Jan. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
clairelm

Join Date: 01/15/17

Posts: 3

RE: Overall

I enjoyed the book for it's smooth tone and readability, very accessible. Teenage Victoria comes of age in an abrupt manner and relishes her sudden autonomy, kind of like being given the keys to a very fancy car. I can easily imagine an intergenerational discussion, especially good for a mother-daughter book group.


Posted Jan. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 22

RE: Overall

I enjoyed this book and realize my knowledge of this historical time is pretty thin. The court intrigue was fascinating and it must have been quite trying to keep up with all the various plots that were going on. I was cheering Victoria on when she was rebelling against Conroy. I wish we could have had a chapter from the viewpoint of her mother. Overall it was an enjoyable read.


Posted Jan. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 44

RE: Overall

I enjoyed this book, as I do most historical fiction books because they make me want to study more. As some of the readers have indicated, I found myself checking facts and the author seemed pretty accurate. It also made me excited for the PBS show.


Posted Jan. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

Expert

RE: Overall

This was enjoyable, but I agree with Ibellg, this was not particularly well-written. The characters played their roles, in keeping with historical details for the most part, but there wasn't much depth to them beyond that.
And I had my doubts about the romantic aspect of the relationship between Victoria and Melbourne, so I did some online research. Reviewers who did have access to her journals noted that Victoria most definitely was not in love with Melbourne but regarded him as the father she never had. It bothers me to see historical characters actively misrepresented in historical fiction. Many people will read this novel (and watch the PBS version of the novel) and assume that because so much of the story is accurate, this must be true also.

Rather than embroider on history in a way that falsifies it, I'd have preferred for the author to use her imagination to develop Victoria's personality in more depth through her established love of music, or drawing (she did a lovely self-portrait at age 16, and I suspect was not as indifferent to art as portrayed here) or riding, or through flashbacks (memories) of her unhappy childhood in a way that might show us the fictional Victoria learning to develop her inner strength to resist, or her sense of duty, her deep desire to succeed ("I will be good," she reportedly said when she learned she would one day be queen). What appeared to drive the author's imagination was creating a drama, rather than exploring the depths of a fascinating character.


Posted Jan. 17, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

Expert

RE: Overall

JLPen77:
"It bothers me to see historical characters actively misrepresented in historical fiction. Many people will read this novel (and watch the PBS version of the novel) and assume that because so much of the story is accurate, this must be true also."

This entire post is so astute. Simply a great analysis.


Posted Jan. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rebecca L.

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 28

RE: Overall

I have to agree with some previous comments, I found the writing a bit lacking. I did enjoy the book overall but (and I don't know if I'm the only one who felt this way) I really wanted Victoria and Melbourne to find a way to be together. I know that would not at all be historically accurate but I loved Melbourne's character and his selflessness and just his overall character. Whereas I found Albert to be insensitive and lacking compassion.


Posted Jan. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cwsmithin

Join Date: 01/19/17

Posts: 2

RE: Overall

First, a few reflections on the author. I knew nothing about Daisy Goodwin. When I was about 2/3 way through this book, I looked her up. Her background in TV production and the adaptation of VICTORIA for an upcoming BBC special (?), explains a lot about how I feel as I read. The sudden cuts from one scene to another; the descriptions of jewels and dresses...just what a TV program would be. I also discovered that Ms. Goodwin did undergrad work in history and much research (including Queen Victoria's journals/diary) was put into the writing of the novel.

I am enjoying reading this book although I am not compelled by it. Just and entertaining and relaxing read.


Posted Jan. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 68

Expert

RE: Overall

I enjoyed the book. I knew very little about Queen Victoria before reading this but I want to read more now. I felt this book brought the young Queen Victoria to life.


Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: Overall

I have loved reading this book! It brought Queen Victoria to life for me. I enjoyed the portrayal of all the characters surrounding the Queen and how they affected and influenced her life. A very enjoyable read. I am interested in reading the other book that is out now about Victoria: "Victoria the Queen" by Julia Baird.


Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: Overall

Thank you Davina for the post quoting the diary. I enjoyed the book but agree with comments looking for better writing and more character development. I've read all of Daisy Goodwin's books and this one, in my opinion, is not her best. So it was surprising that it became a Masterpiece series. The series is much like the book in that the actress portraying Victoria doesn't seem to convey or impart the Queen portrayed in the book. However, the series and the author certainly have found ways to enamor one to Melbourne. The actor portraying him does a marvelous job. So overall an good and easy read. The series is more disappointing than the book. However, I do want to read more about Victoria and Albert - in pure history as opposed to historical fiction.


Posted Jan. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cwsmithin

Join Date: 01/19/17

Posts: 2

RE: Overall: More info on Victoria

Not sure if this is an appropriate post, but there is an e-book on Amazon entitled QUEEN. VICTORIA'S CHILDREN for a good price.


Posted Jan. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 183

Expert

RE: Overall

I enjoy historical fiction and reading about English Monarchs is always interesting. This book however, seemed simplistic, the characters had no depth really. In real life Victoria was a complex and interesting person and this portrayal of her was shallow and made her seem like a waffling teenager, willful but easily manipulated. The writing was more like a young adult novel, although many of those are much more complex and interesting this book was.


Posted Jan. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanew

Join Date: 12/27/13

Posts: 5

RE: Overall

I found it interesting that a young girl of 18,who was overprotected by an overbearing mother and a so calkedmmentor/Conroy, was able to overcome her immaturity and becone a Queen.I thought the book was too concentrated on a 2 year period. I woukd have enjoyed more historical facts.


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