Monday, November 14, 2016

Victoria: A Novel Of a Young Queen and Lace Votives

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As an avid Anglophile and reader of historical fiction, I had to pick up Victoria by Daisy Goodwin the moment I could. I love reading about her 63 year rein, her 9 children and her fairy tale love with her husband Albert, but how did it all begin? That is where Victoria takes us, the early years of the Victorian era.



In 1837 the King of England, William IV, died leaving a small eighteen-year-old girl as queen. Alexandrina Victoria had been sheltered and controlled by her mother and her mother's comptroller, John Conroy, her entire life. She wasn't even allowed her own room, sleeping just feet from her mother until the day she was queen. From the moment she learned she was queen she distanced herself from everyone that had controlled her, moving to Buckingham Palace and rejecting her first name and declaring herself Victoria.



Since Victoria's childhood was mostly removed from court, her mother expects Victoria to lean on her for guidance. Victoria resents her mother's controlling nature and instead she depends on Lord Melbourne, the current Prime Minister, to teach her protocol. "Lord M" agrees to become Victoria's private secretary and the pair soon develop a deep friendship that appears to be so much more from the outside.

Victoria is full of life, stubborn, frustrating at times but most of all a young women thrust into a situation she was unprepared for. She is trying to learn how to be both an adult and a queen at the same time. Throughout the book there are times when you want to stand up and clap for her audacity and times where you shake her head at her childishness. She takes a leap at romance more than once, first from childlike dependency and second as an adult and a queen.



I really enjoyed this book, while it isn't high drama, there is definitely enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages. The rift between Victoria and her mother both stressed me out and made perfect sense through most of the book. You truly hated Conroy and delighted any time Victoria got the upper hand on him. I loved reading about the early days of Victoria and Albert. They are always depicted as a couple deeply in love and it was fascinating to examine the earlier love/hate stage of their relationship. It must have been very frustrating to be expected to marry someone, and the author was able to express that while still making it to the inevitable end. My only regret with this book was that there wasn't more Albert. I adore Albert and it makes me home that there is a second book focusing on their married years.

I loved watching the inner workings of this time and while I know it is definently a fictionalized account, I felt the author did a very good job of sticking to the details that we know. This coming of age story is beautiful and heartfelt, perfect for people who already love Victoria or who are just being introduced to her story for the first time. There is an adaption of this book airing on PBS starting in January starring Jenna Coleman as Victoria. I can't wait to see it, I loved the book and Jenna Coleman is a favorite of mine. I couldn't help the next picture, Reuniting Clara and the 11th Doctor just felt right. ;) You can buy Victoria on November 22 at  Amazon here, or Barnes and Noble here.




As with anytime I finish a British period piece, I have the sudden urge to have a fancy tea party with my daughters. We have always have a blast and have fancy tea cups and a teapot for such an occasion. For this tea party we wanted a soft Victorian theme, and my daughter helped me make this votive for the center of the table. It really made the tea party!


You will need:

  • a mason jar
  • a piece of lace large enough to wrap around the jar
  • gold or silver ric rac
  • Mod Podge
  • hot glue
  • sponge brush
  • pink satin 
  • lighter
  • a rubberband
  • something sparkly for the middle of your flower


Coat the jar in a layer of Mod Podge, wrap the lace completely around the jar. Put a rubber band around the top of the jar to help keep it in place. Add another layer of Mod Podge on top. Allow the jar to dry completely.

While the jar is drying trace circles from the lid of the jar on satin. Cut out as many circles as you want for your satin flower, mine has 6 circles in it.


Use a lighter to lightly heat seal the edges of the stain. You want to burn them enough that the edges start to curl in but not so much that they lose their circle shape.


Add a small circle of felt to the back of your center petal. Glue the other petals on top of the center petal, alternating which side of the petal you glue to make a flower. Glue the rhinestone to the center of the flower.


Cut the rubber band off of the jar, use hot glue to replace where the rubber band was with the gold ric rac.


Add the flower to the jar and place a candle inside.


Place your votive in the center of your table and have a lovely tea party!


What about you? Do you love the Victorian era?
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25 comments:

Angela Tolsma said...

Oh this sounds like my type of book. I love reading books about the British royals! Just finished watching the crown! Soo good! I'll have to see if my library has this one. I love love what you did for the candle, turned out pretty!

Rebecca Bryant said...

After reading this i am excited to get my copy to read. It sounds like i will enjoy it.

Karen Morse said...

Although I am not an avid reader (and just really dont have time, unfortunately), I am ALL about your DIY! I am loving what you did here and want to try this out for my office decor!

Stephanie Cragg said...

Oh, this made me wish I had more time to read! I love these types of books and your description completely sold me! - Also, your DIY is on-point and I wish I had seen this before my sister's bridal shower, it would have made great decorations for it!

Karlie Alms said...

You're a girl after my own heart! I actually just learned a little about Victoria on a trip to London and was just thinking about how I need to watch the new show - as I'm also a huge Dr. Who fan. I had no idea there was a book though and will be buying that ASAP. Thanks for the recommendation.

Kristie McCollum said...

I have never read such a creative book review as this! Loved your unique touch!

Robin Rue said...

I love the DIY craft that you did inspired by this book. I love time pieces so this one looks like it would be something that I would enjoy.

Charlotte TheMummyToolbox said...

I think that time period is so interesting and i've really been enjoying the tv shows that are out at the moment that are covering that era!

Reesa Lewandowski said...

What a beautiful project! It would go so nicely as a gift with the book!

Terri Steffes said...

I can't say I am a fan of the Victorian era, but I do love novels that are set in this time. Such a delicious pleasure to read of the fabrics, food, romance. Your book is on my list to read.

Samantha said...

This sounds so interesting! I would love to read this book and may have to get it soon!

Jessica said...

I love the votive holder, it's so pretty! And this book sounds amazing!

Brittany Lockwood said...

I will definitely have to check out this book as I'm trying to read a few books before the year is over! Also that votive is super cute! I'll definitely have to make one of my own!

CourtneyLynne said...

Ooooooo now this book looks like something I would love to read!!!! I'm obsessed with all
Things history!!

Sincerely Rose said...

I always love reading your posts! I have pinned a few things from your blog and love the ideas!

Carolyn @ Fennell Seeds said...

This book is my favorite genre, historical fiction. I will definitely look for this book. My daughter would love the votives too.

Kecia said...

I haven't read a lot of historical books, but this story sounds intriguing! I like that it inspired you to create the votive for a tea party.

Debbie-jean Lemonte said...

I love historical books. I am totally adding this to my 2017 reading list. The cute DIY definitely added something cute to look at it. Haha!

Cristina Ramirez said...

Like you, I love period novels. Now to find the time to read one :)

Taylor Mobley said...

One day, after I finish my biochem degree, I will have time to sit down and read a book again. I miss reading for fun! Right now I don't have time to read anything that isn't a text book. That book looks great.

Carolina said...

I'm a big history nerd. I hardly ever read novels but this really sounds interesting to me. That you paired it with a cute craft speaks volumes about how much you must love this book and the time period!

Leslie Hernandez said...

This book sounds pretty interesting!! Although I'm currently reading a book right now I will write this one down so I can read later on.Loved your DIY it's very cute!! perfect for home decor!!

PositivelyStacey said...

I need to pick up this book! I have been enjoying the Netflix series Queen. I just finished reading Trespasser and it was great. Time to get a new book.

Stacey said...

Sounds like I need to read this book next! It sounds interesting and like a great read. I also love the DIY project you did with your daughter!

Amanda Love said...

I like period pieces, especially if it's from Europe. I've always been fascinated with their stories. I think this is a lovely book and it's nice that you made something to commemorate it. Love the craft!

 
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