At Buckingham Palace in the early spring of 1841 the Prince was reading to Victoria what he believed to be a masterpiece, Goethe's Leiden des jungen Werthers, although he admitted 'the beginning is dry'. Some of the Queen's reading sounds more dutiful than pleasurable. 'I have not read Barchester Towers all through,' she once wrote to Vicky after her marriage, 'but I am told it is not meant to be so ill-natured. But I don't like reading it aloud to Papa as there is not enough romance in it.' But The Mill on the Floss 'I must say ... made a deep impression upon me. The writing and description of feeling is wonderful and painful!' It would be interesting to know if George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss has been read by any member of the royal family since. Middlemarch the Queen thought fine but a disappointing book, for all the people were failures; Jane Eyre she considered 'a wonderful book but very peculiar in parts.' ...
November 20, 2016
'We are not amused...'
from Queen Victoria at Home, by Michael De-la-Noy