Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Queen Victoria's Children's Book to be Published

A children's book written by Queen Victoria is set to be published this June. Victoria is known for her 43,000 pages of journal she recorded beginning at the age of 13 until her death in 1901. But before her 'Dear Diary, today I painted the town black' entries, she wrote Alice at the age of 10.

The story begins first with a dedication to her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. It reads, "To my dear Mamma, this my first attempt at composition is affectionately and dutifully inscribed by her affectionate daughter, Victoria." Victoria, you used 'affectionate' twice here. Get your shit together.

Image sources: Wikipedia and US Magazine

Image source: The Guardian

Twelve-year-old Alice is sent to Mrs. Ducombe's School for Girls after her father remarries. "'Oh do not send me away dear Pappa', exclaimed Alice Laselles, as she threw her arms around her Pappa’s neck; ‘don’t send me away, O let me stay with you.’ And she sobbed bitterly." Alice's schoolmates include Barbara, the daughter of a wealthy banker, whose pride "spoiled her otherwise fine expression"; Ernestine Duval, a "poor little French orphan" who had suffered from "the small pox, by which malady she had lost one eye"; and Diana O’Reilly, who was raised by a nurse after the death of her mother, and sent to Mrs Duncombe's when her father returned from India after 10 years to find a "tall girl of a most uncouth appearance" who spoke in an "unintelligible" brogue.

Well this is...a little dark.

The original story, published in a little red notebook, is housed in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. The published version, which includes illustrations using copies of paper dolls made by Victoria, will be released June 8th by the Royal Collection Trust.

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