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VICTORIA
Bibliophile price: £5.00
By the creator and screenwriter of the TV series Victoria, Daisy Goodwin 'writes deliciously'. Early one morning, less than a month after her 18th birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman who stands less than five feet tall can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her venal advisor Sir John Conroy, or her uncle the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power. But the Queen is no puppet and she has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name. Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria finds him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being Queen with the help of her Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father, but is the first person to take her seriously. Drawing on Victoria's own diaries, which she started reading when a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin brings us the brilliantly imagined life of a young woman about to make her mark on the nation and the world. Young Drina with Dash her doggy, her doctors and a new world of the Privy Counsellors in the red saloon at Kensington Palace and the tall, hook-nosed figure of the Duke of Wellington and his burly companion Robert Peel, leader of the Tories in the Commons, jostle for space with the Archbishop of Canterbury. 404 roughcut pages, highly desirable and expensive in American publications.

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