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== The Author and Style of Writing ==
This is the second book about Queen Victoria by Jean Plaidy. I recommend that you read them in order, although it is not essential.
I have enjoyed all four books in this series, which I believe shows Jean Plaidy's best work out of the over 100 historical fiction books that she wrote.
Under other names including Victoria Holt, Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow, Ellalice Tate, Anna Percival and Philippa Carr, this author whose birth name was Eleanor Burford, also wrote different styles of books.
This prolific writer did not compromise quality for quantity, but while I would give most of her books 4 stars out of 5 because they lack a little polish in writing style, I would give the Victoria series 5 out of 5.
Jean Plaidy's strongest points as an author are consistently great characterisation and historical accuracy.
All the author's historical fiction books are well researched and based on fact. She just brings the characters to life with techniques such as imagining the sort of conversations they would have, and descriptions of their surroundings. Unlike some authors in this genre, notably Philippa Gregory, she does not throw into her stories controversial possibilities.
Some readers prefer Jean Plaidy's attitude towards only using established facts, so that they get an accurate idea of what actually happened.
Others prefer the controversy that authors such as Philippa Gregory use to look at history from different angles to the norm.
I enjoy both types of writers, but I want to know the established facts before I read about other possibilities.
The bibliography for the Victoria series includes the Queen's diaries and correspondence.
Victoria's family tree at the front of the book will help you understand her relationship to other characters.
== Overview of Plot ==
In the first book in the Victoria series The Captive of Kensington, readers learn about Victoria's domineering mother and very restricted childhood in terms of both outings and people she is allowed to meet. This included having little contact with men. (Her father died when she was a baby.) Her mother includes making it difficult for her to have much time with her uncle King William IV in this, which is one of the reasons she could have been better prepared for her later role as Queen, on her uncle's death.
Victoria's mother does have "good" reasons for bringing her daughter up like this, but if readers don't already know why, I will leave them to find out in this series of books.
It is Lord M (Melborne), the 58-year-old Prime Minister at the time of her uncle's death, who is her best guide to her new role as sovereign.
He is a charming "ladies man", as well as an experienced, diplomatic politician, and Victoria falls for his charms. How does he handle this, and does Victoria learn to become independent? The answers are in the book.
Other topics covered include the continued friction between Victoria and her mother, although now being her mother's Queen completely changes the balance of power. I found some of these confrontations quite amusing. Perhaps that is because I am a mum with a daughter!
This hostility extends to the households serving them, after they move from the smaller Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace, and the 18-year-old Victoria insists on them having separate apartments.
Another family "problem" is Uncle Leopold, her mother's brother and King of Belgium, who now expects to influence British foreign policy, because he has been a father figure to Victoria as a child. You might guess that Lord Melbourne is not impressed!
Lord Melborne's position is not secure, however, as his party only has a slim majority in Parliament.
== Recommendation ==
The Queen and Lord M is the second book in the excellent Queen Victoria series of four by Jean Plaidy.
Read this absorbing, historically accurate, fiction book to learn about how Victoria coped with becoming Queen as a teenager, with the help of her Prime Minister and friend, Lord Melborne.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd (2 Oct 2008)
This was the first Jean Plaidy fact fiction style book and it's basically started me on my history novel addiction of late. So she was offically the one to blame!
The novel kicks off within the first few lines, telling us that Victoria is now Queen of England after she is, what I think, rudely awoken to be told in the late hours of the night. After settling (?) into her role as the new monarch quite well, after all she is still quite young, we see her favouritism with the prime minister Lord Melbourne.
Even from the first time his name is mentioned in the book I figured that there would be some kind of relationship between the two, although not physical the way that Plaidy writes gives the suggestion that Vicoria has feelings towards her advisor. It also seems as though he too reciprocates them. However somethings are just never meant to happen and the fall of his part of government casts him aside for somebody else to step up.
Plaidy also deals with the strained relationship between Vicotoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent. This isn't a prominent feature as Victoria very rarely gives her the time of day. Although you get the impression that deep down inside both parties care deeply for the other.
It is clearly obvious that at some point the young Queen will have to marry although it's never been clear to me if she is opposed to this. Not until the very end of the book do we get to hear of Albert. If I'm honest, Jean Plaidy makes him come across as a right.... and I'm not completely sure as to whether that was intended or just my interpretation.
It isn't very often that I've come across a book on Victoria and I was pleasantly surprised at how Jean Plaidy made her come across at a compassionate figure at not the frowning lady in the pictures that I've seen of her.
This is a great read, especially if you aren't clued into the whole Victoria saga like myself. This is, I think the second book in the mini series of Victoria so maybe you should opt to go for the first one before entering into the next. However I don't think it would make much difference because this is a completely new novel and doesn't refer to many past events.
You can get this for about £6 on Amazon and is worth the money.
The Queen and Lord M is the second book in the Victoria series and picks up where the last book, The Captive of Kensington Palace, left off with an eighteen year old Victoria being woken in the middle of the night to be told that she is now the Queen of England.
As the title suggests the main plotline of the book focuses on Victoria's relationship with Lord Melbourne who is the Prime Minister when she comes to the throne.
Plaidy plays on the lack of a father figure in Victoria's life (Hers died when she was a young child) and weaves together a very realistic relationship between the Queen and her Prime Minister.
She also focuses once again on the strained relationship between Victoria and Her mother, The Duchess of Kent but this is more of a sub plot as Victoria chooses not to see her most of the time!
Plaidy also starts to introduce Albert who is to later become Victoria's husband, and their relationship starts to blossom in this book.
Once again it is a captivating read and Plaidy excels herself at really bringing the characters in her books to life.
This book is available in paperback on Amazon for £5.99 and is well worth the money as it is a reasonable length although admittedly not as long as The Captive of Kensington Palace.
A brilliant read and a great continuation of the story.