My daughter and I are huge fans of Lucy Worsley’s books. She writes Historical fiction so effortlessly that you, the reader are transported back in time and become entangled with fascinating characters. My daughter classifies Lucy’s book as some of the stories where she loses herself – ie while she is reading she forgets that she is sitting in her home in modern England and feels like she is actually living the story as it unfolds (Can any author honestly get a higher compliment than that?) My name is Victoria was the fourth Lucy Worsley book that my daughter has read and it has been just as popular and loved as the others (in case you are wondering they were – Lady Mary, Eliza Rose and The Austen Girls – all books we highly recommend).
The book is written from the perspective of a young girl – Miss V Conroy (V for Victoria), she is the daughter of Mr John Conroy who acts as the Duchesses comptroller (the Duchess being Princess Victoria’s Mother). Mr Conroy was the person who created the Kensington System and can be seen as the person who made Princess Victoria’s life quite challenging and hard as he tried to gain control of the young Princess in the hope that he would be able to end up indirectly ruling (his hope was that the King would die before Victoria turned 18 so he could effectively control her). Miss V is taken to Kensington Palace to act as a companion to the young Princess. In this story the two young girls become incredibly close friends, even viewing themselves more as sisters. Through the book you see Miss V struggle with her thoughts and opinions of her father, someone who she first admired but later starts to question and eventually sees him as evil and controlling. Miss V eventually falls in love with Prince Alfred and the Prince and Princess hatch a plan where Miss V and Princess Victoria trade places. It is a story of a young girl growing up and learning some hard truths about adults in the world but also a story of hope, courage, strength and friendship.
The story is a very interesting take on the childhood of Princess Victoria and one that does make you stop and think because although it is a fictional story there are lots of accurate facts woven into the storyline. And after reading it you do have a new appreciation for Queen Victoria and her reign because you have an appreciation for the fact that her childhood was NOT an easy childhood. Yes she lived in a palace but she actually lived quite a simple life and often ate very basic food. Through the Kensington System she also did not have a lot of freedom and her childhood was actually quite depressing and limiting. It actually makes you marvel and how she managed to turn out so well adjusted and end up being such a popular monarch.
My daughter read the whole story in three days. I had actually given her the book and asked her to finish it by the end of half term but after I got sick and was not in the best of home-ed mom modes she actually ended up reading a lot more and finished it really quickly. She really enjoyed the story, and she was intrigued by the concept of a different Princess Victoria – we like to think of it like the multiverses in all the hero movies, where in one multiverse this just might have been what happened (you can never really know can you?)
Both my daughter and I (I also read the book) highly recommend My name is Victoria. We think it is fun, engaging and a “lose your self in a wonderful story” book. (We recommend for ages 11+)
And for those readers who want it here is an Amazon link for the book My Name Is Victoria
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