A Most English Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Daughter

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Nineteenth century Europe was a powder keg, although no one would realize that until it had already exploded. Because of this situation, any novel set in the period might well be considered a World War I novel, however subtly or quietly it may touch upon the coming war. A Most English Princess does so subtly, but not not always quietly, for the princess in question is Victoria, mother of the future Kaiser Wilhelm II.

At the start of the novel, however, she is just Princess Vicky, already self-assured and headstrong. The book introduces us to her, then sails through the first thirty years of her life. We see her courtship with a Prussian prince, her marriage, and her struggles to fit into the new society in which she suddenly finds herself. Though she has a great deal of German blood, she is always an outsider, looked on with suspicion and disdain.

This book introduced me to a figure from European history I knew very little about, and it made her relatable without losing the sense that she is not only a figure from the past but also royalty. My one complaint is how quickly the book sped through Victoria’s life; I wanted so much to sink into the rich details of mid-nineteenth century Prussia, but it would be nearly impossible to go from Vicky’s childhood through to the end of the Franco-Prussian War and indulge in all the detail I might want. I would highly recommend this book.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 512 pages
Publisher William Morrow
Publish Date 2020-09-22
ISBN 9780062997609
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue October 2020
Category Historical Fiction


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