Monday, June 25, 2018

Queen Victoria: From Beginning to End by Hourly History

The book is marketed as a 1-hour read that covers the entirety of Victoria's life. This isn't exactly accurate. First, Victoria was the longest reigning Monarch in England to date, which makes condensing her life into a 1-hour read impractical. The sheer amount of information covers more than 2 hours if there is to be any understanding of who she was. I was unable to read the entire thing in 1 hour and I average reading books with 30 chapters in less than 4. The problem has more to do with the way the content is presented than the actual length of the book. The content is broken up by the timeline of Victoria's life, but it also attempts to tell the story of that life. The rushed nature of the story left me feeling like this was a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. While my knowledge of the royal families history is admittedly limited, this left Victoria with no redeeming qualities at all.

It was ambitious to think that the full history of any monarch can be conveyed in an hour or less and this book is no exception. The actual facts and dates are lost, and the narrative plays out as a tragedy. The compressed data makes the story feel rushed and harsh. Additionally, the run-on sentences and poor editing do not help.