Summary from Amazon:
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.
Young Victoria has lived a very sheltered life. Her mother, the Duchess, along with her “companion”/advisor Sir Conroy always told her it was for her safety since she was next in line for the throne. Maybe this was true but it seems that it was mostly done so that they had control over her and Victoria cannot wait until the day that ends!
Going from a sheltered country life to being the Queen of England at the tender age of eighteen must have been quite a shock as well as very nerve wracking. I cannot imagine how that would be even if you were groomed since birth for the job! Victoria takes the throne with little knowledge of how things work and with only the Prime Minister for help and while she was rather immature at times she finds her voice and becomes quite independent.
At times I was frustrated with Victoria and the way she acted or reacted to some situation because it was hard to remember that she was only a child. She was, at times, quite selfish and demanding and had a hard time seeing how her acts affected the bigger picture but she was kind and loving to her subjects for the most part. Her crush on Prime Minister Melbourne may have been considered inappropriate but at her age and considering she was surrounded by people she couldn’t trust (even her own mother) totally understandable.
Ms. Goodwin has done a very good job of taking her study of Victoria’s reign and personal diaries and turning them into this bit of, what I assume is historical fiction. I am a bit of an Anglophile myself so I was very interested in learning more about Queen Victoria and while I know this is fictionalized I still found it informational but also entertaining to read. At first you might think that this is only a love story but it is much more. Victoria is a story of a young woman growing and finding her voice and learning what is best not only for herself but for her country as well.
Author's site: www.daisygoodwin.co.uk