Victorian times are normally considered particularly prudish, a setback in the more relaxed morals of the Age of Enlightenment. But in The Wild Princess, Mary Hart Perry shows us the romantic, passionate side of the Victorian Era, in Princess Louise, Victoria's fourth child. Louise is headstrong and independent, both traits that were not popular in female royalty at the time. Victoria tries to tame her "wild" daughter by marrying her to the Marques of Lorne, the first time since 1515 that a royal had married a British subject. Historically there has been much speculation about Louise's marriage to Lorne and why the couple never had children. This book explores those reasons and also how Louise might have handled a potentially "loveless" marriage.
The description in this book is so vivid and expansive I felt like I could actually see the beautiful clothes and exquisite furnishings of the time period. Perry's historical facts are all spot-on and she uses some of the innuendo and suppositions from historians of the present and writers of the time to flesh out the main characters and make them more identifiable.
But The Wild Princess is historical fiction, and with that license, the author is able to embellish on the story with her own characters, who although not present in actual history, serve to further the story by making the real characters more approachable.
I am in love with this book. I think I will save my second read for a nice long soak in a bubble bath with a box of chocolates by my side and my third read for a day when I'm not feeling well and I need something comfortable yet exciting to keep me company. Mary Hart Perry is already writing the second book in the series, The Bashful Princess, about Prince Beatrice, Queen Victoria's youngest child. I can't wait.