An unseen story written by Queen Victoria at the age of ten is to be published for the first time. Princess Victoria originally called her story 'The School', but then changed the title to 'Alice', in honour of her lead protagonist.
The Adventures of Alice Laselles, by Alexandrina Victoria, aged 10 and ¾ will be published on 8 June 2015 by Royal Collection Trust, giving a fascinating and endearing glimpse into the vivid imagination of the future monarch, who went on to write hundreds of volumes of journals and even become a best-selling author. The book includes an introduction from author Jacqueline Wilson.
The young royal author tells the tale of Alice, a twelve-year-old girl who is sent away to boarding school after her father remarries. It reveals Princess Victoria's natural flair for writing, and tendency towards the dramatic. When Alice learns she is to leave her home for Mrs Duncombe's school, Victoria writes, 'Oh do not send me away dear Pappa', exclaimed Alice Laselles, as she threw her arms around her Pappa’s neck; ‘don’t send me away, O let me stay with you.’ And she sobbed bitterly. She introduces a host of characters living at the school, including a 'poor little French orphan'; Ernestine Duval, and Barbara, the clever daughter of a rich London banker.
Princess Victoria's story comes to its climax when Alice Laselles is wrongly accused of allowing a cat into the school without permission. Someone has attached a red ribbon to the cat with Alice's name on it, and she is distraught at the implication. However, the true culprit is soon revealed and Alice goes on to flourish at the school.
The book will include beautiful illustrations produced by combining digitally manipulated copies of the paper dolls made by Princess Victoria and her governess, Baroness Louise Lehzen, and 21st century etchings.
The Adventures of Alice Laselles, by Alexandrina Victoria, Aged 10 and ¾
A children's story written and illustrated by Queen Victoria
Publication date, 8 June 2015
See the book in our online shop here.