Title: In the Shadow of a Queen
Author: Heather B. Moore
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: October 4, 2022
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.
Princess Louise was the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. She was close with her mother, becoming the Queen’s personal secretary after her sisters had married and moved away. Louise was a sculptor, which was scandalous for a woman at the time. She was also interested in women’s rights, though her mother didn’t support that cause. It took a long time to find her a match, but she ended up breaking protocols to marry the man she loved. Princess Louise was an extraordinary woman.
When I began reading this story, I realized I didn’t know anything about Queen Victoria’s children. I had read stories about the Queen’s early years, but not about her life during her reign. Though Louise made controversial decisions, her mother supported her. Even when Louise wanted to do something that Queen Victoria didn’t approve of, she eventually came around and allowed her daughter to do what made her happy.
Princess Louise’s mark is still present today. She made the sculpture of Queen Victoria that sits in front of Kensington Palace. That’s one of my favourite statues and I had no idea Princess Louise had made it. Canada’s province of Alberta is named after Princess Louise, as Alberta is her middle name after her father Prince Albert. I didn’t realize she had a strong connection to Canada, living here for many years while her husband was Governor General. I’m glad to see she left a legacy in the world, and I hope it becomes more well known.
In the Shadow of a Queen is a wonderful story about Queen Victoria’s daughter.
Thank you Shadow Mountain for sending me a copy of this book.
What to read next:
An Indiscreet Princess by Georgie Blalock
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Have you read In the Shadow of a Queen? What did you think of it?