Queen Victoria’s Children’s Book To Be Published

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

To my dear Mamma. This, my first attempt at composition, is affectionately and dutifully inscribed by her affectionate daughter, Victoria.

By the time she died in 1901, Queen Victoria had survived five assassination attempts, given birth to nine children, and reined for 64 years, the longest of any British monarch in history. But by the time she turned 11, she had already written a children’s book. And on June 22, The Adventures of Alice Laselles will hit bookshelves — nearly 200 years after it was written.

In Alice, the beribboned protagonist is sent away to boarding school, and must solve the mystery of “who put the cat in Miss Dunscombe’s kitchen.” Along the way she encounters a “poor little French orphan,” the daughter of a rich London banker, and lots of pastel. The book includes Victoria’s illustrations, restored and updated (and a little bit eerie).

Written for a homework assignment, the book offers a window into the mind of an assiduous future royal who “studied with private tutors and spent her free time with her dolls and her governess.” A bit bleak, perhaps, but conducive to precocity. And after two centuries spent chilling in the royal archives at Windsor, Alice will surely be thrilled to see the light day.

More Like This

Rivka Galchen on the Particular Horrors of Actual Witch Hunts

The author of "Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch" on the ways we make each other into monsters

Jul 1 - Carianne King

A Reading List on the Palestinian Experience in the Face of Oppression

Books about Palestinians and the struggle for Palestinian liberation

Jun 11 - Hala Alyan & Talal Alyan

Olivia Laing on the Pain, Pleasure, and Power of Inhabiting a Body

Her latest, "Everybody," is a comprehensive and contemporary look at the struggle for bodily freedom

Jun 2 - Tia Glista
Thank You!