Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Getting the royal real deal on PBS Masterpiece's Victoria

One of the highlights of the winter TV season is the return of Victoria on PBS Masterpiece,starting this upcoming Sunday. This second season goes further into the life and times of one of  England's most iconic queens as well as her relationship with her beloved prince Albert.

That romance is the focus of the official companion book for season 2 fittingly entitled Victoria & Albert: A Royal Love Affair. Co-written by writer/producer Daisy Goodwin and Sara Sheridan, we get more insight into the regal couple's lives through their diaries and journals, along with intricate details about the historical recreations done to make this series sparkle with life onscreen.

While I am enjoying Goodwin's fictional take on Victoria in book form at the moment, this tie-in tome sounds like an ideal read,not only for me but for the many fans of this historically heartfelt show.

Victoria and Albert were quite the power couple of their day but more than that, they were two young people in love who needed to work together for the betterment of their country, a standard not easily set. However, their struggles of the heart are well documented as this lovingly illustrated volume clearly showcases here:

If that book whets your appetite for more nonfiction fare about the queen herself, Julia Baird's Victoria The Queen is a scrumptious biographical feast indeed.

Baird's approach to her subject is that of a woman who defied as many conventions as she is said to uphold, a working mother that insisted upon being heard despite the delays in her direct control and even during her advancing years, still managed to shock and surprise those around her.

Rather than depict Victoria as a historical figurine from a bygone era, Julia Baird reveals the queen as an early forerunner to our modern female leaders who ,sadly, are still making strides to be taken as seriously as they should be:

However, if you'd prefer to snack on an untold tale regarding one of her post Albert relationships, Victoria & Abdul by Shrabani Basu ought to do nicely.

Abdul Karim was sent to serve at Queen Victoria's court during the latter days of her reign and she immediately took a liking to him. While he was eager to teach her to read and write in Urdu as well as expand her knowledge of India, many in the royal household considered him an unwanted influence upon Victoria.

That included her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, who was anxious to see his mother dethroned. Nevertheless, she persisted in that friendship which her family attempted to wipe out of the record after her passing.

 The story was recently adapted into a movie starring Judi Dench,once again portraying the older queen in a frowned upon relationship(Mrs. Brown) that could get her another Oscar nomination. I plan on seeing the film but the book might offer more tidbits of insight into this offbeat bond:

There are but a handful of the books out there about Queen Victoria and yet I feel that this tidy little trio ought to make a good start. In the meanwhile, it will be quite the relief from our present day political woes to be able to embrace our dear Victoria and her struggles in office for a good number of Sundays to come:

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