REVIEW: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

This richly historical and political book from the creator of the popular ITV drama captures the early months of Queen Victoria’s reign perfectly. 


Offering a new insight into the early months of Queen Victoria’s reign, Daisy Goodwin’s refreshing and richly detailed novel presents the portrait of a Queen who not only struggles to deal with her duties but also a spirited young woman who wants freedom and to follow her own heart.

As with her previous novels ‘The Last Duchess’ and ‘The Fortune Hunter’, there is a lot of historical information that is interwoven with the main story as Victoria fights to become respected as Queen – despite many incidents that occur along the way including the infamous bedchamber crisis and the situation involving Lady Flora Hastings – both of which damaged Queen Victoria’s reputation slightly.

But what makes this novel refreshing is the way in which it concentrates on her close friendship with Lord Melbourne, even slightly suggesting that perhaps there was some form of romantic attachment between the pair, so strong was Victoria’s dependance on Lord Melbourne’s opinions and advice. It has been warmly written, while making it clear that nothing further than friendship could or would progress between them, making the tone feel bittersweet.

Goodwin has a strong ability to make figures such as the Duke of Wellington, Sir John Conroy and Queen Victoria herself really jump off the page and come to life, again reflected in the detailed descriptions and the conversations between characters. It is very easy to sink into the  Victorian era and the glamour of the new court.

At times, it can seem that some of the detail talking about certain characters backgrounds and how they fit into the story can feel a bit clunky and unnecessary as the plot is straightforward enough to keep up with all the key characters.

But there is no doubting that Goodwin has created a wonderfully luxurious novel about Queen Victoria that showcases her reign in a different light – instead of a little old woman who shuts herself away after the death of her husband, the reader is given a spirited and relatable Queen that gives us an understanding of what the woman behind the throne might have been like.

While it might not offer anything that perhaps some people will know about Victoria’s reign, it will still entertain those who enjoy the ITV drama or those who adore historical fiction.

Victoria is available to buy now

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

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