In the Shadow of a Queen Published by Shadow Mountain on September 23, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Women
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Based on the true story of the free-spirited daughter of Queen Victoria.
As a young woman, Princess Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She is also strong-willed and resists following the queen's rigid rules and strict protocols for a princess.
After her father's untimely death, Louise's life is upended by the inconsolable grief of her mother and the rippling effect that rocks the British Empire. Captive to the queen's overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother's tight circle of control, attend balls, or have any kind of relationship outside the royal family. She is 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 without Queen Victoria's approval, 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 and resources to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.
In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of an epic 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.
Historical fiction is not a massive part of my reading life, but a story that pops up occasionally piques my curiosity. The Shadow of the Queen does that while teaching me more about this family, especially Princess Louise. Author Heather B. Moore’s meticulous research reveals and brings to life a fascinating woman, modern before her time, whose story has been previously hidden and overlooked. Honestly is knew nothing about Queen Victoria’s kids, so she was going into this blind; and can I say Princess Louise was lowkey giving girl boss energy like she was a sculptor because you know she wanted to? Princess Louise went to an art school even though that was ‘below’ royals; she married a peasant (gasp) and founded this science and art school for impoverished girls. Honestly, IDK how I’ve never heard of her, but good for her.
I also enjoyed learning more about the dower queen who always wore black, it made her more human, and I can understand this extreme mourning period. The author wrote this as historical fiction, and I learned quite a bit about this royal family and was drawn into it and never felt bored.
The author shares all the historical notes in the background of the book to support the story she woven, and some fun book club discussion questions are also included.