Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
Historical Fiction (Series)
Ages 12 and up
Scholastic, 2001, 0-439-21598-6
Victoria is desperate to have some privacy, to have a place where she can air her thoughts and feelings freely without having to worry that someone is going to pry into her affairs without her consent. What she has found is an old notebook and she has taken it to use as a diary or journal. She is determined to keep it a secret for she knows that if her mother or if Captain Conroy should find it, they would think nothing of reading it.
Victoria has always been incredibly sheltered by her mother and Captain Conway. They have not allowed her to play with other children and have kept her apart from other people. The daughter of a German princess and a royal English Duke, Victoria knows that she is different but it is only soon after she turns eleven that she discovers that she is very likely to become the next ruler of the realm, once her uncle William dies.
Into her journal Victoria pours out her feelings, venting her frustration with Captain Conway’s manipulative behavior and wishing that there was some way to break the hold that he has on her mother. Victoria may be young but she can already see that Conway intends to play an important part in the royal household of the future. Victoria is determined that he will not be allowed to do so. At the same time we see how na´ve she can be in some ways, how much a little girl she still is as she plays with her collection of dolls with her nurse companion.
Wonderfully written in the style of Victoria’s real diaries and many letters, complete with lots of underlinings and capitalizations, this fictionalized diary is very true to the personality of the young girl who would one day become a great queen. Readers will come to appreciate how hard this child’s life was and how much she was surrounded by adults who were trying to use her to further their own political aspirations. Thankfully Victoria was not easily manipulated and she stood up for herself.
Full of descriptions of her daily life, this is a fascinating picture of a very important time in young Victoria’s life and at the back of the book readers will find plenty of further information about the history of the Victorian era.
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