Tag: Author: Daisy Goodwin


Review: Victoria

Posted 23 November, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Victoria
By: Daisy Goodwin
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

I do not like the name Alexandrina. From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.
Melbourne nodded. “Victoria.”

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the 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.

The young queen is no puppet, however. 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 found 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 diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen richly to life in this magnificent novel.

Readers of my blog know that I’m a big fan of period dramas and I am looking forward to sitting down and watching Victoria starring Jenna Coleman. I didn’t know that there was an accompanying (?) novel that was coming out alongside the series by the same person who penned the show. Admittedly this is not my first foray with Daisy Goodwin’s work; I started reading the eGalley of The Fortune Hunter (review) a few years ago but sadly had to put it down as I just had no time and the first chapter or so didn’t compel me to finish it. Nonetheless I was pretty excited to check out this title. This book will be available on 22 November 2016.

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DNF: The Fortune Hunter

Posted 25 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Fortune Hunter
By: Daisy Goodwin
Format/Source: galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as “Sisi,” is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.

Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.

I first heard of this novel in passing I believe in a list of “books to watch out for in 2014.” So when I saw the book on NetGalley, I had to check it out. Ever since I went to Austria a few years ago, I’ve been curious about the Austrian monarchy and Sisi; she’s not really mentioned much in the general European history courses and from what I saw at the Schonbrunn exhibit, she was quite the fashionable monarch of her time with a very interesting life. So I was quite happy when I was approved a copy of this novel to read.

Unfortunately after several chapters, I had to put it down. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on exactly; it felt like a parade of characters, I didn’t find Captain Bay Middleton very interesting, and it was like moving through the busy pump rooms of the 19th century. The opening chapter did not grab my attention enough to carry on and subsequent chapters left me feeling equally indifferent. Given this and the stack of books on my to-read pile that are also waiting to be read, I sadly had to put it down. I may change my mind in the future and pick this book up again, but for now it’s left as a DNF for me.

This book will be available on 10 July 2014.

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