Book Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

James Walton 

After the huge success of the ITV series Victoria, why not return to the history with this fantastic novel, covering the same time period as the first four episodes of the TV series. 

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Clearly not a woman to underplay a good idea, Daisy Goodwin has followed her scripts for the ITV series Victoria with a novel that covers the same material as the first four episodes, often using the same dialogue.

Given how popular the series was, mind you, I can’t imagine its viewers complaining—while anybody who missed the telly version is in for a somewhat brazen treat.  

Goodwin has obviously done some research into Victoria’s early reign (which began, remember, when she was a teenager).



 "A dash of Jane Austen, a good few pinches of soap opera and a fair dollop of modern rom-com"



Yet, genuine history only ever feels like one of the ingredients in a book that also contains a dash of Jane Austen, a good few pinches of soap opera and a fair dollop of modern rom-com—especially once Albert shows up and the final section becomes an extended will-they-won’t-they? tease. (Spoiler alert: they will.)  

At times, the overall effect is as if a free-spirited 18-year-old girl of our own time had unaccountably found herself crowned a 19th-century British queen. Even so, while serious scholars of the period should probably steer clear, there’s no denying that as shameless confections go, this one is hard to resist.


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