My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley
|My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Lucy Worsley produces a rollicking and absorbing story about the young princess who would become Queen Victoria. All the characters are real and the events are real, but Worsley tries to provide an alternative narrative to the one revealed by Victoria's own letters and diaries. Fun to read, interesting and stimulating.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: March 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Miss V is the daughter of Sir John Conroy. Sir John Conroy is the comptroller of the household of the widowed Duchess of Kent. And the widowed Duchess of Kent is mother to the young Princess Victoria, who will go on to be one of Britain's most memorable monarchs. Miss V is also called Victoria - well, Victoire actually - but distinctions of rank are important, especially when one of you will become a queen.
Princess Victoria is being brought up under the infamous Kensington System, which is intended to keep her isolated and dependent on her mother and Sir John. In this way, the pair hope to maintain their influence when Victoria eventually becomes queen. And Miss V is the only peer companion she is allowed to have. Miss V is also expected to report back to her father and the duchess so that even Victoria's private conversations and thoughts are monitored and manipulated.
But Victoria is no fool and she resents the limitations placed upon her. She is lonely and miserable. And Miss V feels a real affection for the princess. But where should her loyalties lie? With her father, who promises that his only motivation is to keep the young princess safe? Or with the passionate and understandably resentful Victoria?
Hot on the heels of the hit TV drama The Young Victoria comes this lively and enjoyable novel for middle graders about the early life of one of our most famous monarchs. While the setting and events are accurate, Worsley has decided to take a slightly alternative history approach. Victoria's own diaries and letters suggest a great enmity between Victoire Conroy and herself - the real Miss V was resented as a spy in her private space. But Worsley, noting Victoria's flair for melodrama and exaggeration, posits a different story. What if there was a friendship? What would the story look like then?
It's a fun read and it gallops along at a good pace. Both Victoria and Miss V are painted as vivid, lively, passionate characters and you warm to them both. The Kensington System is shown up for the cruelty that it was. And it's always fun to imagine historical stories in a slightly different way. This one will be loved by all middle grade fans of period fiction.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley at Amazon.com.
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