An Immersive Tale // ARC Review: My Name Is Victoria by Lucy Worsely

Title: My Name is Victoria
Author: Lucy Worsely
Publication Date: March 9th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
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Blurb Description: 'You are my sister now,' Victoria said, quietly and solemnly. 'Never forget it. I love you like a sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.' Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Miss V's father has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess, which he calls the Kensington System. It governs her behaviour and keeps her locked away from the world. He says it is for the princess's safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it is to keep her lonely, and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the wilful and passionate Victoria, Miss V has a decision to make: to continue in silence, or to speak out. By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria's childhood as you've never heard it before. 

Short and Sweet: A fun, easy to read take on the young list of Queen Victoria that will have you smiling and desperate for more.

When I got the opportunity to read Lucy Worsely’s debut novel last year from Bloomsbury India, I jumped in joy. While I enjoyed the beginning, and learning all about Tudor court and how it functioned, the latter half of the book dragged a little bit, making me not love the book as much
I guess that’s probably why it took me a little while to pick up My Name is Victoria, because of the slow nature of the second half of the previous book and I really needed to get myself in the mood for it.

My Name is Victoria, however, had none of the problems that I faced in Eliza Rose and proved to be an easy to read and immersive middle grade tale about the era. Let’s go more into detail:


The author is a curator at the Kensington Palace where the young Queen Victoria spent her days in . The story flowed really well, starting from the time Miss V. Conroy is taken to be playmate to a young Princess Victoria and ends during Victoria’s ascension to the throne.
seclusion under the control of her mother and her comptroller. While the idea itself was based on the author’s knowledge of the Queen’s life, with one major change to the storyline, it was still a good read


Lucy Worsely managed to capture the era and the mind sets of the world at that time through a girl of ages twelve to eighteen. As Miss V. Conroy and Princess Victoria grew through the book, the writing grew as well. From play time and dogs to boys, marriage and the throne I loved seeing how the future queen and her friend grew.


While I’m talking about the characters is where the reason that this book isn’t a five star read comes out for me.

While the book constantly had the same entertaining pace, it was the narrator, Miss V. Conroy who I had a slight problem with. There was nothing wrong with her but I just found her lacking a strong personality that I associate with teenage girls. She felt no hurt at being called “a bit boring” and “the little mouse.” She felt like she had to do nothing but care for Victoria and didn’t care about herself.

Her sense of duty and responsibility overpowered everything she could have been and she just felt like too good a character with absolutely zero flaws and it made it slightly annoying and unbelievable.


If you’re into middle grade historical novels, there will probably be none more accurate than My Name Is Victoria! An easy flowing, wholly immersive tale. 4 stars.
Lucy Worsley
 I was born in Reading (not great, but it could have been Slough), studied Ancient and Modern History at New College, Oxford, and I've got a PhD in art history from the University of Sussex.

My first job after leaving college was at a crazy but wonderful historic house called Milton Manor in Oxfordshire. Here I would give guided tours, occasionally feed the llamas, and look for important pieces of paper that my boss Anthony had lost. Soon after that I moved to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, in the lovely job for administrator of the Wind and Watermills Section. Here I helped to organise that celebrated media extravaganza, National Mills Day. I departed for English Heritage in 1997, first as an Assistant Inspector and then as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings; Bolsover Castle, Hardwick Old Hall, and Kirby Hall were my favourite properties there. In 2002 I made a brief excursion to Glasgow Museums before coming down to London as Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces in 2003. Yes, this is a brilliant job, but no, you can’t have it. (Bribes have been offered, and refused.)

You might also catch me presenting history films on the old goggle box, giving the talks on the cruise ship Queen Mary 2, or slurping cocktails.
 Do you read Historical Fiction? What are some of your favourites? I don't read much in that genre, but I'm looking to remedy that and so I'd love your recommendations! 

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