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Victoria Bets On...


December 2016

When I hear that there is a new Daisy Goodwin book out, I am an eager reader. Her two previous novels, THE AMERICAN HEIRESS and THE FORTUNE HUNTER, were both Bets On selections. Her latest, VICTORIA, is a brilliantly juicy novel about Queen Victoria, who ascended to the throne at the young age of 18 and held that position for 64 years. I confess to little study of British Monarch history, I suppose in part due to the fact that Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than I have lived. But by the time I had finished this book, I was sorting out the Edwards (VII and VIII) and Georges (V and VI) who reigned after Victoria and before Elizabeth.

VICTORIA captures the early days of her rule when she is finding her way in governing and leading. She led a very sheltered life before ascending the throne in 1837 upon the death of her uncle, William IV, spending her nights sleeping in the bedroom of her mother, the Duchess of Kent, in Kensington Palace. Her mother, who was German-born, has as her “companion” Sir John Conroy, a man who clearly wants to get the Queen in his clutches to pursue his own interests. 

Victoria stands up to them both, sweeps her way into Buckingham Palace, and quickly relies upon Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister, who she sees as a companion as well as an advisor. There is an age gap between them, and he rapidly deflects her advances, but clearly is charmed by her. History tells us who her ultimate suitor is, but if you, like me, have not done monarch research, you can watch the story unfold in VICTORIA.

Daisy was drawn to write about Victoria after discovering her diaries while she studied at Cambridge. A couple of years ago, when she was trying to decide what to do next after a year of personal strife (no job, house fire, breast cancer), she found herself thinking about those diaries. And from there she was off and writing.

Note that Netflix’s terrific series, “The Crown,” which looks at the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, is a perfect prelude to the upcoming Victoria” miniseries, debuting on PBS in January 2017, which also was written by Daisy. As she is working on Season Two of the miniseries, we can assume that there will be another novel to follow as well. I’m looking forward to that! 

by Daisy Goodwin

  • Publication Date: September 26, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 1250045479
  • ISBN-13: 9781250045478