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Much better than the TV series
This book covers only Victoria’s early life and first few years of her long reign. Goodwin is a writer of historical fiction that borders on “women’s fiction.” She has a tendency to emphasis the more salacious and gossip laden events in the life of the person written about. That said the book is interesting and well researched. The life of a young girl manipulated by those around her and surrounded by great wealth and all its accouterments is discussed in great detail. Victoria is saved by the one scrupulous man in her life: Lord Melbourne, her first prime minister. Early Victorian English society, and the lives of the not-so-privileged, is covered well.
Tiffany April Griffin
History of Queen Victoria
(The book gives much more detail than the TV series and gives a more accurate portrayal of Victorian England. )
4 of 5 stars
If you love history, you have to read this book. If you think this historical era is not your cup of tea, also try this novel. We meet a young lady who is not stucked up. We meet a lady with a heart of courage and fortitude. The author, Daisy Goodwin,writes this story as you have discovered a new best friend. The author makes you feel you are with Queen Victoria when she takes her carriage rides. When she has to choose with love, you would want to be with her and help her though. Again, this author really connects you with the Queen.
Small Snapshot of Time
The book also has a character named Lord Melbourne. As the Queen calls him Lord M for her heart has fallen. Despite the age differences and despite his past, it is through Lord Melbourne that he teaches the Queen. He teaches by being direct. He taught her not only the policies of being a queen, but lessons that life give us. He also shows her respect. Do not forget the historical era this book is in. A queen as a women was rare. There was only one queen before her. His teachings helped her be a better queen.
This book is historical fiction, with romance, and suspense. This writer takes these three subjects and interwoven into one of the best historical fiction novels. This is a book that you will always remember.
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin was a very easy read. It portrays only a small snapshot of Victoria's life within a 2-3 year span, from the time she took the throne to the moment of her engagement to Albert. I enjoyed the book for the historical aspect. I knew very little about Queen Victoria before reading this book, and was glad to read that such an independent and "saucy" young woman was Queen of England. Goodwin's writing of the piano duet between Victoria and Albert was positively electric, and conveyed their mutual attraction to one another. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I don't think it will be considered a classic retelling of Queen Victoria due to the limited time span of her life that it covers, but I did enjoy it.
A Different Perspective
Everything I have previously read about about Queen Victoria had to do with her later years as a Mother, Wife, and grieving Widow. This book, dealing with her childhood years and her years immediately following her Coronation, gave me a much complete picture of how she become the woman she was after her marriage to Albert and in her later years. This thoroughly researched book, because of the Author's inclusion of Victoria's early diaries, included rich and intimate details that made me feel as though I was an eyewitness to all that was going on in her early life. We will be using this book as a Bookclub selection in March. I am anxious to hear the reactions of our club members to both the book and the way it is presented in Masterpiece Theater.
Reads like a YA Historical Romance
This is the first time I haven't finished a Book Browse review on time. Although I had looked forward to reading this book, I struggled to get through it. The writing and focus seemed more appropriate for a YA novel than a mature historical novel. Yes, I know that Victoria was only 18, and that she depended on Lord Melbourne's advice, but turning this relationship into an adolescent crush and an old man's fancy was a big mistake. It made the queen seem giddy, petulant, and self-absorbed. Yet after all this mooning over Melbourne, she falls head over heels in love with Albert in a few day, after an initial period of their hating one another. Nothing of much consequence happens in this book, and it sheds no light on how Victoria might rule for the next 50 years. This was a real disappointment. I will watch the BBC series based on this novel--but I sure hope it's better than this.
Very, very good!
Loved this book- it was well written and explored the life of a young girl who couldn't descend the stairs alone one day until the next day she was the Queen of England. She was young and inexperienced but soon learned the ways of the Court. great reading that makes me excited for the PBS series airing in January!
Kathy B. (St. Louis Park, MN)
I Love Victoria
This Is a very moving story about young girl who becomes Queen of England at the age of 18. The queen soon faces the trial of public disapproval. She is expected to marry her cousin Prince Albert who she finds very dull. However, she enjoys the company of Lord Melborne. Even though he is old enough to be her father, he is the only one who takes her seriously. She is under constant scrutiny by those around her. Before reading this book I did not know the requirements of a queen. England became modernized under her rule. Very enjoyable reading.
I love Historical Fiction, so I was eager to read this story of the young Queen Victoria. I had seen the movie “Young Victoria” a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The first few chapters of this book reminded me very much of the movie.
Ms. Goodwin’s descriptions brought the story to life for me. I found myself getting frustrated with Victoria as she was quite childish. How difficult it must have been to see that Victoria was, at times, not mature enough for the responsibilities placed upon her, but to be unable to do or say anything because, after all, she was the Queen.
You may wonder then why I gave the book only three stars. If it were categorized as Historical Romance I would give it four stars, but as Historical Fiction it only gets three stars. The book really says very little about what responsibilities Victoria actually had. The entire book is Victoria mooning over Lord Melbourne. (I can see why as he, being much older, showed the maturity needed for a proper Prime Minister. He was also the only one that seemed able to carefully direct Victoria to the proper decisions or behaviors.) Then when Albert does come along it is like a Harlequin story – they hate each other and then after some time suddenly discover they can’t live without each other.
So, if you want romance it is a good read. But if you want to learn historical information regarding Queen Victoria you might look elsewhere.