The teenage Queen Victoria, raging against her mother, crushing on her prime minister, and not impressed by her loser cousin Albert.
Goodwin (The American Heiress, 2015, etc.) wrote this novel imagining the adolescence of the woman whose rule defined most of the 19th century just as her television script of the same story went into production in England; in her acknowledgments she thanks the actors and her daughter, a "teenage queen" herself. When the death of Victoria’s uncle, His Majesty William IV, puts her on the throne of England one month after her 18th birthday, she is legally in charge and ready to seize the reins of power, disappointing her mother and her adviser Sir John Conroy, who were counting on controlling her. Brushing them off like gnats, she announces, “For a start, I do not intend to stay here at Kensington. It is miles away from anything, and quite unsuitable as a royal residence.…I think I shall look over Buckingham House. It is in the centre of town, at least, and I believe it has a throne room.” Her plan to ditch her mother and Conroy out in the burbs is quickly shot down by her new best friend and adviser, Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, who explains that “if you leave your mother behind at Kensington, there will be talk of an unpleasant kind, and that would be a shame so early in your reign.” Soon hopelessly in love with the handsome older statesman she calls “Lord M,” the little queen hasn’t much more than a glance for the suitors vying for her attention. Then from Germany come two cousins from her mother’s side—blond “demigods” Ernst and Albert. “Such a prig” is her judgment on the latter—but readers who remember their history know that something’s gotta give.
Fun, romantic, and suited for both adult and teenage readers. On its way to PBS in January 2017.