Mastodon The Writing Desk: Book Review: Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood, by Trisha Hughes

23 June 2019

Book Review: Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood, by Trisha Hughes

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

The third book in Trisha Hughes' well-researched series explores the story of Queen Victoria and her legacy. Victoria to Vikings: The Circle of Blood takes us from Victoria's ancestry to the current queen, Elizabeth II. I'd not thought about it before but they shared the experience of coming unexpectedly and poorly prepared to the throne.

It was useful to be reminded of the complex social and political environment the young Queen Victoria was faced with, as it helps explain the strange 'double standards' of the Victorian era.

Full of fascinating details, we learn that when Prince Albert was dying (probably from Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the intestine which was unknown at the time) his doctors prescribed ammonia and a glass of brandy every half hour.

The less well known aspects of Victoria's life and death can also be quite surprising. Her fondness for her gamekeeper, John Brown, is well known, yet I didn't know she left written instructions that after her death she was to be buried with a lock of his hair, holding his letter in one hand. 

I found some sympathy for Victoria's son Bertie. Surprisingly, given her own experience, it seems Victoria did little to prepare her son for the crown. After a troubled childhood, one of his first acts on inheriting the throne was to order the destruction of his mother's mementos of John Brown, including the cairn of stones in his memory at Balmoral. 

To reach the reign of the current queen, Trisha Hughes has to take us through two world wars, before tracing Prince Philip's little-known Viking heritage to bring the series in the 'full circle' of the title. Of necessity, this means some events are skimmed over, but I enjoyed reading this series and am happy to recommend it.

Tony Riches

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About the Author

Australian born Trisha Hughes began writing 18 years ago with her best-selling memoir ‘Daughters of Nazareth’. Trisha’s passion is history and she loves bringing it alive in a way that is easy to read and enjoy. Her hope is to inspire young readers and the young at heart to understand and enjoy stories and legends from the past. While living in Hong Kong, she writes for a local magazine and is involved with young writers. Find out more at Trisha’s website: and You can contact Trisha on her Facebook page, Trisha Hughes Author and on Twitter @TrishaHughes_

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was kindly provided by the publishers.  

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