Book - 2016
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"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."--From publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2016
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION GOO
Characteristics: 404 p. ; 25 cm


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Jul 08, 2019

Very readable and enjoyable historical fiction about Queen Victoria's earliest days in her reign. The current PBS series is based on this novel, and the book does read like a screen or teleplay - which isn't a bad thing. Will be on the lookout for Goodwin's next.

Apr 24, 2019

3 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction about the lives of historical figures.

This book is about Queen Victoria's early life. She began her reign at the age of just 18, and how she finds her place in the monarchy.

For me, this type of historical fiction is tough to read. I find that I enjoy situational historical fiction quite a bit more than something about a specific person. However, the short chapters helped me along and I was able to finish this somewhat slowly. I kept going back and forth between whether I thought Victoria was naive or she was really executing a plan to make her own way as a queen. Sometimes she was just so young, and self-centered. Other times the things that she fought for made sense. I also struggled with the other characters. I often felt bad for her mother, and frequently felt that she sort of deserved how things went. I mostly felt bad for Lord M though, he seemed in a tough spot. I started to enjoy the book a bit more toward the end when she finally gets to see Albert as an adult. Overall I found myself not overly compelled with Victoria's story, but the short chapters helped me power though. I am so far enjoying the show quite a bit more than the book! A rarity for me!

Mar 27, 2019

A lovely, brilliant story of the early years of Victoria's reign. I was sucked in from start to finish, and particularly enjoyed Goodwin's interpretation of Victoria's relationship with her first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. I don't necessarily think that it actually was that way, in fact, I definitely don't, but this rendition of it makes for lovely reading. If you're a fan of the Masterpiece series Victoria, then this book will be very familiar to you, though it has some extra goodies thrown in that wouldn't work well in the television format but are just perfect for a novel. An excellent story.

ArapahoeDianeM Sep 01, 2018

Excellent Historical Fiction, based on the life of Queen Victoria. She becomes Queen at the very young age of 18, in a world & time that was "ruled by men". She gets the help of Lord Melbourne and also some help from her Mum. Her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland and others would love to see her relinquish her power. This young woman will surprise you at her strength. There is also a PBS series that is also excellent.

Mar 12, 2018

VICTORIA is light (emphasis on “light”) historic fiction that follows the early days of the young English monarch’s reign up to her betrothal to Prince Albert. It’s a good choice for when you’re on vacation or between weightier works. Despite the Queen’s name in the title, I found her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, to be the more interesting and sympathetic figure in the book. What’s more it’s uncertain how much of his relationship with Victoria is based on fact or author Daisy Goodwin’s imagination. To me, a lot of VICTORIA read like a chaste Harlequin romance so perhaps the story will translate better to the small screen in the PBS Masterpiece presentation. I look forward to watching it.

Nov 29, 2017

Good, light read - but would really like a historic novel about a queen to, just for once, not ONLY be about how she does or doesn't fall in love. There has to be more about these amazing women who reigned through decades of peace and prosperity, other than what man they chose to support them.

Oct 24, 2017

The writer of the PBS Masterpiece theater, Victoria, gives us insight into the world of the young Queen Victoria. Focusing on the diaries of the first two years of Victoria’s reign, the author has created a picture of a young woman, not only seeking guidance but love as well. Although, at times, the reader will have trouble sympathizing with the young queen, an appreciation of her strength will be gained.

Aug 22, 2017

I loved this book. It was so good even though it was the exact same story as the television series. The book is different and more personal than the TV series because you can know what the characters are thinking without having to guess. It was an enjoyable and good read. I look forward to reading more of Goodwin's works.

JCLColleenO Jul 06, 2017

This story revolves around the early days of Queen Victoria's reign up to her marriage to Prince Albert. Goodwin delivers an interesting look at the life of one of England's most beloved monarchs and her early years as queen. The story felt real, the characters were engaging, and overall I liked it a lot.

ArapahoeTiegan Apr 10, 2017

If you have had the pleasure of seeing the show Victoria on Masterpiece on PBS, written by Daisy Goodwin, you do not need to read this book. It probably wouldn't have taken me as long to read if I'd picked it up before watching the show. But it is almost exactly the same as the majority of season one. So, if you have not seen the show, you would probably enjoy reading it more than if you have.

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Apr 19, 2017

Mamita28 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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SPL_Heather Feb 13, 2017

Historical novelist and screenwriter Daisy Goodwin tells the story of a young Queen Victoria in her historical fiction novel Victoria. The story opens with eighteen year old Alexandrina Victoria inheriting the throne from her uncle in 1837. Most people thought she was too young, sheltered, and female to be Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. She surprises them all with a before unused authority and power and as one of her first acts as Queen, changes her name from the hated Alexandrina to Victoria. Raised under the strict Kensington System, Victoria was sheltered from society and allowed to walk down stairs only holding the hand of her governess and was forced to sleep in the same room as her mother. As Queen, her first experience of independence is fascinating to witness.

As Queen, Victoria must learn about her people, politics, and what it means to be a female monarch. She relies heavily on her first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, who has a reputation as a ladies man. There is definitely an attraction between them, but her family wants her to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. They had met as children and Victoria remembers him as stiff and serious. She is most certainly not interested.

This is a coming of age tale of a young woman thrust unexpectedly into a position of great responsibility. Victoria is stubborn and at times naïve but she is also clever and witty. The characterization in this book is wonderful and you feel as if you really know these famous historical figures. It is a page turner despite being a work of historical fiction. Author Daisy Goodwin studied Victoria’s diaries as a student at Cambridge and became fascinated by the feisty young version of a sometimes sober elderly monarch.

The novel follows the early period of Victoria’s rule and is a companion to the television series written by the same author. (The show is currently airing on PBS.) The romance and political dynamics keep the pace high in this novel that retains a light tone throughout. Victoria is not a serious historical account of facts, but a lovely insight into the personality and motivations behind a young Queen.


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