Based on the True Story of the Free-Spirited Daughter of Queen Victoria.
Princess Louise’s life is upended after her father’s untimely death. Captive to the queen’s overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother’s tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother―the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.
Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen’s wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day’s political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.
Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria but finding a match for the princess is no easy feat. Protocols are broken, and Louise exerts her own will as she tries to find an open-minded husband who will support her free spirit.
In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of a battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown’s reputation unsullied no matter the cost.
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Princess Louise is the fifth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Growing up she is doted upon for her beauty and artistic ability. When her father dies an untimely death, the household retreats into prolonged mourning period and Louise is pulled in closer to her mother and her ideals. Throughout their mourning, Louise practices her art and yearns to be a sculptor. As wars plague Europe, Louise dives into the politics of the disagreements and forms opinions and a world view that often is the opposite of her mother's. With the passing years, Louise watches her older siblings marry into different families from different places. Soon, Louise becomes her mother's personal secretary and must make a choice on who to marry, which might be the most difficult decision yet.
In the Shadow of a Queen is an immensely detailed, historically accurate and intimate look into the life of Princess Louise from her adolescence to her marriage. From a young age I could feel the weight of responsibility on Louise's shoulders. She knew her position and obligations, but was pulled between her sense of duty to her mother and her own sense of justice and independence. The writing made Louise and her vivacious character come alive as she tested boundaries and pursued her own unconventional dreams. I loved that Louise was able to sculpt and even go to a public school, though it seemed short lived. I was also amazed that Queen Victoria was against women's suffrage and that Louise was able to help in her own ways despite being forbidden by her mother. Of course, even with all of Louise's accomplishments on her own, the most interesting part of her story was her decision on who to marry. Louise was able to break the mold once more as her mother allowed her to marry outside of royalty. An amazing story of just one of Queen Victoria's children and the life of compromise between two extraordinarily willful women.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy publications, including The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. She has lived on both the East and West Coasts of the United States, as well as Hawaii, and attended school abroad at the Cairo American Collage in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.
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