Martin's Must-Reads: 'Victoria'

Mar 19, 2019

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandria Victoria is roused from bed with news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England.

I’m Betty Martin with Martin’s Must Reads and if you’ve been watching the PBS series "Victoria," then you will enjoy reading Daisy Goodwin’s novel of the same name.

Goodwin’s extensive study of Victoria’s diaries has given her plenty of material for both the novel and the PBS series. Up until the point that she became Queen, Victoria led a very sheltered life under the control of her mother and her mother’s advisor, Sir John Conroy.

Conroy and Victoria’s uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, were eager to take control of the crown, but five foot Victoria was anxious to rule and finds an ally and mentor in Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, a man old enough to be her father. The novel and the series lead us to believe that Victoria had a crush on Lord Melbourne, but some historical writers deny that. Once Conroy and Cumberland realize that Victoria will not give in to them, they push her to marry a husband “ who can control her.”

The book ends with her marrying Albert, a man of her own choosing. The PBS series begins with the material in the novel and continues into the years of her reign. Readers and viewers get a good sense of how much Victoria matures as a monarch, wife and mother.

If you enjoy British monarch history than you must read Victoria by Daisy Goodwin.