Ellen and the Queen

I picked up Ellen and the Queen from my local op shop, where I occasionally find unexpected treasures. Gillian Avery made a speciality of novels set in Victorian times; The Warden's Niece is a much beloved childhood favourite of mine, and it's only in latter years that I've discovered that she wrote several more books in the same vein.

Ellen and the Queen is a very slim little book -- hardly more than a short story, really. It's the tale of fiery, red-haired Ellen, whose home village is turned upside down when Queen Victoria comes to stay at the Great House. The very naughty Ellen trespasses into the grounds of the House; then into the House itself; and by a series of misadventures, eventually penetrates the bedchamber of the monarch herself...

A slight volume in every sense, but great fun.


  1. I loved 'The Greatest Gresham' and still have a copy. I didn't realise as a child that she hadn't actually lived and written in the times she wrote about; it was only rereading it as an adult that I looked at the publication date, but of course her style is far more modern and lively than a Victorian author's would be.

  2. 'The Greatest Gresham' is wonderful! She really does seem to inhabit those times, doesn't she -- 'The Warden's Niece' made me love Oxford long before I was able to visit it.