Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: Victoria Rebels

Victoria RebelsAuthor: Carolyn Meyer
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Queen Victoria’s personal journals inform this captivating first-person account of one of history’s most prominent female leaders.

Queen Victoria most certainly left a legacy—under her rule as the longest reigning female monarch in history, the British Empire was greatly expanded and significant industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes occurred within the United Kingdom. To be a young woman in a time when few other females held positions of power was to lead in a remarkable age—and because Queen Victoria kept personal journals, this historical novel from award-winning author Carolyn Meyer shares authentic emotional insight along with accurate information, weaving a true story of intrigue and romance.
“I listened silently to what Fidi was telling me. Can it be true that I shall be queen? Fidi would not lie. Yet the idea was so astonishing that I could scarcely grasp it. I, queen of England?” – ARC Copy pg. 15
“‘A princess does not throw tantrums,’ my governess often had to remind me. ‘She controls her angry tongue.’” – ARC Copy pg. 19
“In February of 1831 I made my first public appearance at court. The occasion was the Queen’s Drawing Room, Aunt Adelaide’s reception for a very large number of people, held at St. James’s. I loved my gown, English blonde lace over white satin, and Mamma allowed me to wear a pearl necklace and a diamond ornament in my hair. Mamma’s gown had a pink velvet train trimmed with ermine and a headdress made of feathers and diamonds. Mamma and I rode in a state carriage sent by the king; with us were the unavoidable Sir John and Lady Conroy and Miss Victoire Conroy, and my dearest Daisy. The gentlemen were all in black evening dress and the ladies wore white satin gowns, all of British manufacture, with a profusion of feathered headdresses and glittering diamonds. Everyone said it was the most significant since the drawing-room presentation of Princess Charlotte when she married dear Uncle Leopold.” – ARC Copy pg. 31
“How pleasant it is, at the end of the day
No follies to have to repent;
But reflect on the past and be able to say,
That my time has been properly spent.” – ARC Copy pg. 44
“Rules, rules, rules. It was pointless to challenge them, for I never won a concession and often had to write yet another letter of apology.” – ARC Copy pg. 54
Any story concerning any Royal has my immediate vote. Victoria definitely has my vote. I have always been intrigued by stories following the Queen Victoria and this one mainly revolves around a younger Victoria and her time before she was actually Queen. Victoria’s older sister, Feodore is about to be married and move away to Germany with her new groom, leaving Victoria with her mother and the awful Sir John, who advises her mother on every subject pertaining to her young daughters. The only pleasantry that Victoria has to look forward to is the company of her governess, Daisy. This book is mostly read like a diary and follows the daily lives of Victoria and those that she interacts with the most.
I have read some reviews that did not like the fact that this book was written in diary format from the perspective of Victoria. I have a few things to say to that. First of all, this is Victoria’s story and she can tell however she wants to. Secondly, she does interact with others and you always know what is going on around Victoria. This is not solely Victoria’s voice. You will hear from many others and conversations are all noted in Victoria’s diary. I did not mind this at all because I found it to be very informative. I loved being inside Victoria’s mind because of her rebellious tendencies and it was hilarious to read what she really thought about the political system, other Royals, and her own mother.
This was truly a beautiful piece of literature that could be enjoyed by young adults or even a younger audience. I am just mesmerized by the amount of research that Carolyn Meyer has put into this novel and how much information she was able to rely through one single story. I loved how she portrayed Victoria’s character and made her really relatable for readers. I in no way felt that this was an overload of information, but rather I looked at it as killing two birds with one stone. I was able to read a great fictional historical novel while retaining all sorts of information. I pulled out one quote above the described the attire of Victoria as well as others at a certain ball, and this is a very vivid description that Meyers fills the pages full of. I enjoyed every second of Victoria’s palace life.
Victoria’s rebellious nature and her inability to behave herself had me laughing throughout the story. This is just not how you picture the great queens of England, but I would wager that a lot of them had a lot of the same tendencies. Victoria especially! This was a quick, charming read that will forever sit on my historical fiction shelf!
***A huge thank you to the publishers at Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange my honest and unbiased review***

No comments:

Post a Comment