My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Summary: In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.
One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….
Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.
I have great anticipation for the Masterpiece showing of Victoria so I was very happy to have won a copy from a Goodreads giveaway to read.
All I can say is that the book has given me even more anticipation for seeing the series on screen. I'm fairly sure a lot of the unspoken attraction to Lord Melbourne by Victoria is the floss of fantasy but I still enjoyed it. It was very easy for me to understand how a young woman who'd been cloistered off from almost everyone could fall for the first man she's allowed to have a conversation with on her own. That Melbourne is also portrayed as handsome, courteous, interested in her thoughts and an invaluable font of information, how could anyone not lose their heart and head a little over such a mentor? I enjoyed reading of Victoria's first steps and missteps as Queen. Albert shows up very late in the story and I was glad to finally meet him. The courtship of Victoria and Albert had it's rock start but ended so lovely that I couldn't read another hundred or so pages of them as a couple.
I'd definitely recommend this one. It's a thoroughly readable in a binge-worthy way and probably a time well spent if you're interested in the television series.
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