Author: Kim Marsland
Queen Victoria, one of British history's most celebrated monarchs, is often seen as a stately and solemn figure, in mourning for her beloved husband Prince Albert. But behind the sombre portrayal hides a lesser-known story of Victoria as a spirited, creative, and highly imaginative Princess. The only child of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, she lived a lonely existence in Kensington Palace, until she ascended the throne at the age of eighteen and moved to Buckingham Palace. With the help of Baroness Louise Lehzen, her devoted governess, Victoria's quiet childhood days were often spent creating a doll 'family' which consisted of 132 small wooden dolls individually dressed in miniature finery. Exquisitely handmade garments of lace, satin and velvet, sewn with minute fairy stitches. The tiny figures have come to symbolise the young Victoria's isolated childhood at Kensington Palace and her longing for sibling companionship. But they also illustrate her patience and attention to detail, her colourful imagination and story telling gifts.In Queen Victoria's Wooden Dolls, Kim Marsland brings to light the series of events which resulted in these charming wooden figures and how they reveal the many interests of the young Princess, artistic passions that would stay with her during her long reign as Queen. The characters that come to life so vividly within her first journals, are seen once again through her delightful watercolour sketches, and the memorable and unique doll collection.