Yes ma’am, I am back! I officially can. not. put. down. Prisoners in the Palace. After listening to a podcast by The History Chicks (have you started listening to them yet? Why not?) about Queen Victoria (in which they recommended PitP) I knew I had to read more about her. She was FASCINATING.
Small history lesson. This is going to be hard. Okay.
King William IV, Victoria’s uncle, did not have an official heir. He had 10 bastard children, but his wife, Queen Adelaide, was unable to carry a child to term. This left Princess Victoria as next in line to the throne. The Princess’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, being a widow and German, decided to bank on her daughter’s hopeful succession and become Queen Regent should William IV die before Victoria came of age. The Duchess relied heavily on Sir John Conroy, an officer she engaged as her personal secretary. A charming, dynamic man, Conroy used the Duchess, hoping to help her become Regent and therefore gain power for himself.
Luckily for Victoria, William IV and his brothers all died without providing a legitimate heir and she gained the throne at age 18.
Prisoners in the Palace is a fictionalized look at the Princess Victoria in the year before she gained the throne. Told by her maid, Liza Hastings, an orphaned child of titled gentry, she is forced to seek a place as a ladies maid, in the hopes of avoiding the poor house, the streets, and in regaining her status as a lady herself. Liza decides to help Victoria circumnavigate Sir John and the Duchess and attain her throne without their stealing it from her.
It is GOOD. I can’t wait to finish it. Also, this is a beautifully produced book. Love all the artistic flourishes the publisher did to it.
On deck, oh my gosh, I have so many. But I have this one book in at the library, that I found quite by accident (I was looking for another book) and I can’t wait to pick it up. I hope it is as good as it’s title: The American resting place : four hundred years of history through our cemeteries and burial grounds by Marilyn Yalom. Obviously this is for RIP VIII. Doesn’t that sound great? I also have Night Film by Marisha Pessl in and I discovered (also by accident!) that Elizabeth Hand wrote a sequel to Illyria, which I LOVED. It’s called Radiant Days and I have it on hold. I hope I can pick it up when I go tomorrow.
Now I just need some days off to read read read!
What are you reading lately that has you excited?