Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Review: Victoria in the Wings

Victoria in the Wings is not, in fact, about the girl who became Queen Victoria, but of how she became the heir apparent when there were so many in the running. The story begins with the death of Charlotte, the Regent’s daughter, and the unrest it caused the royal family, as she had been the only legitimate grandchild of King George III. Two of the sons were prevailed upon to marry and produce heirs: William, Duke of Clarence and Edward, Duke of Kent. Protestant German wives were provided and the race began!

Lurking in the background, however, was the fifth son, Ernest, the Duke of Cumberland and his wife, who was not accepted into the family, though she was of noble birth. Both had a reputation for ambition and a cloud of suspicion over mysterious deaths. Though they had a son, he had little chance at the throne as long as Clarence and Kent provided heirs.

We are introduced to Adelaide, Duchess of Clarence, who is the gentlest woman imaginable, and Victoria, Duchess of Kent, who is like a lioness with her cub (the future Queen Victoria). Every member of the royal family seems to quietly watch the others for news of pregnancies and unfortunate failed attempts. As you may imagine, there wasn’t an abundance of good cheer among the Hanovers.

Adelaide, however, was a joy to read about! She was the only person among the entire family who loved all children and was completely sweet without a jealous bone in her body. She insisted the Duke’s children by Dorothy Jordan live with her and their mother’s portrait stay in the family home, looking down on their happy arrangement. That she eventually became Queen is my only consolation for what she endured – the failed pregnancies, calming of her husband’s sometimes eccentric nature and the rivalry with his brothers. The book ends at George IV’s death, though we get a feel for the new reign of King William IV and his gentle Queen Adelaide.

As for Victoria, it is the beginning of her imprisonment in Kensington Palace. While it was necessary to keep her confined and watched throughout George IV’s reign (as he kept the murderous Duke of Cumberland close at hand) her later confinement is an attempt by her mother, along with her comptroller (and perhaps lover) Sir John Conroy, to subdue her so they could be the power behind the throne when the time came. The next book in the series is The Captive of Kensington Palace.

This is one of my favorite Plaidy novels! There is so much intrigue and plenty of personalities are represented: those to love and those to hate. The Duchess of Kent shows many negative qualities and it is very apparent that she would become overbearing toward her daughter. It is said that King William IV purposely lived until her 18th birthday so that she would be of an age to rule without a regent (her mother).

George IV is to be pitied, as he is old and very sick, and wants his Maria, but is still too proud to recall her. He hangs on to his last mistress even though he has no love for her, or even a wish to have her around for company, as she is a selfish, stupid woman. He simply doesn’t want to be ridiculed or die alone. And though George is in such a condition, he is still the most elegant man in the country and can charm those around him effortlessly. Such complexity is the magic of Plaidy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Jean Plaidy Challenge & Giveaway Alert!

The New Year is here with a Bang! Plaidy’s Royal Intrigue is announcing our Challenge for 2010!!

Arleigh and Lucy have planned a GRAND Plaidy Lady Challenge!

Last year, we had a wonderful turnout for our reading challenge and so we’ve decided to go on a grander scale and make it official!

Challenge will begin January 15, 2010 and end on Dec. 15, 2010.

Please Note: You must have a blog to participate. If you don’t have one, you can sign up very quickly and easily at Blogger.com and at least post what books you’re reading, if not reviews.

Place this button on your sidebar and post about it- then use the linky to tell us who you are.

You can choose a level now – or just pick as you go along.

Ms. Carr: read 6 Books
Ms. Holt: read 8 Books
Grand Plaidy Lady: Over 12 books

At the end of the year, 1 winner will be picked from each level.

ALSO…if you would like to see your reviews posted on our blog, please send them to : royalintrigue@gmail.com

Once a month we will randomly pick reviews to post on our blog. All you have to do is email us your review and once it’s up you blog about it with a link back to us.

So, let the fun begin!



1. Put our challenge button on your sidebar, linking back here.

2. Comment here saying it's up and leave the link.

3. Send an email to royalintrigue@gmail.com with the following info: first name and blog/website address. **Please send an email each time you finish a Plaidy novel so we can keep our list updated**

Once I get your email, your name goes into a drawing for a brand new copy of Flaunting Extravagant Queen! Open to US, Canada & International (no exclusions on mailing). This giveaway ends January 31st, 2010.

At the age of fifteen, Marie Antoinette, beautiful and charming bride to the impotent Dauphin, is plunged into the intrigue of Versailles. Frivolous and reckless, she flouts the strict and demanding etiquette of the glittering court, and discovers the true nature of love, hate and jealousy.

But the clouds of revolution are overhead, and Marie Antoinette, who only wishes to enjoy life, learns too late that the price of her enjoyment is very high...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rare Plaidy Children's book! Meg Roper 1961

Meg Roper is a very hard to find Children's book by Jean Plaidy and there is a copy on eBay currently. The asking price is about $65, which is not bad considering it's obscurity. Follow the link to learn more!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Jean Plaidy Challenge results!

First of all, feel free to take the appropriate image and proudly display it on your blog!

Here are the official numbers, as I have been given by members via email:

Amanda - 19
Mog - 13
Holly - 11
Arleigh - 11
Lucy - 10
Marie - 6
Dani - 6
Felicia - 5
Judy - 5
Lizzy - 5
Susie - 5
Alaine - 4
Heather - 4
Jenny - 2
Christy - 1

Congratulations to the book winners (you will be notified via email) and I would like to send some bookmarks as a Thank You to everyone who entered, so if you have not done so, please send me a mailing address to royalintrigue@gmail.com for that purpose.

Yes, we are hosting a 2010 challenge!! The official graphics and page will be up shortly...

Happy reading to everyone and here's to a PLAIDY filled 2010!