Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Widow of Windsor

The Widow of Windsor. Jean Plaidy. 1974. 318 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Mourning hung heavily over Windsor. The Queen was stunned; now and then her tears would cease and she would ask in a bewildered voice: "It's not true? Tell me it's not true. This time last year he was with us. Oh God, how could this be? I always believed we should go together."

Premise/plot: The Widow of Windsor chronicles the last decades of Queen Victoria's life, starting with the death of Prince Albert in 1861 and ending with her own death in 1901. The book does not focus on Queen Victoria alone, but also on her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. A marginal story line, in fact, despite the misleading book jacket, is the Queen's relationship with Mr. John Brown. Politics is never far from center stage either.

My thoughts: This one is well worth reading despite the melodramatic jacket copy. The good news is that The Widow of Windsor is NOT the book described in the jacket copy. I have taken to reading Plaidy's jacket copy in a certain voice in my head, starting with "Jean Plaidy who is also Victoria Holt." In the matter of The Widow of Windsor, it's dreadful: "She was the Queen. She was a widow. But she was also a woman...."  How could you not read that in a melodramatic way?!

I enjoyed reading this one very much. I enjoyed learning more about Bertie (Edward VII) and his wife Alix (Alexandra). Scandal was never far away from the Prince of Wales. The book shows him at his best and worst. Queen Victoria's other children are also very much present in the novel, though not all equally.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Joy Weese Moll said...

I was a fan of Victoria Holt as a teenager. I know I read some under her Philippa Carr name but I can't recall reading any Jean Plaidy. Thanks -- I hadn't thought of those pleasant hours of reading in years.

carol said...

How did I not know that Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt were the same person?