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The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Defiant Daughter Paperback – July 31, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“Romantic, exciting, historically accurate and deliciously imaginative, THE WILD PRINCESS is a lush and entertaining read. I look forward to more from Mary Hart Perry!” (Susan Fraser King, author of Lady Macbeth and Queen Hereafter)

THE WILD PRINCESS is a fascinating, intriguing glimpse into a royal household. There is the public image and then there is the reality that Mary Hart Perry brilliant brings to life. (Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of Lyon's Bride)

The Wild Princess is a wild ride, artfully told and overflowing with lavish Victorian detail. Perry’s Louise is equal parts fearless and vulnerable, admirable but also approachable. Perry walks the line between fact and invention with ease, weaving a fictional tale that nevertheless feels real. (Shelf Awareness for Readers)

Lots of action, compassion, mystery, and romance. Definitely a must read for those who love a great romance. (A Date with a Book)

[A] marvelous tale about the life of the real Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s most unconventional daughter-and the fascinating events that might have taken place between the cracks of recorded history. Full of romance and suspense …. a masterly historical novel. (Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author of No Longer a Gentleman, and Dark Destiny as M. J. Putney.)

I love historical fiction and I’m a huge fan of Philippa Gregory’s work, and now I am also a fan of Mary Hart Perry. This novel has mystery, romance and historical’s just wonderful. Rating: 4.2 Stars! (For the Love of Film and Novels)

“A rollicking adventure about Queen Victoria’s bold artist daughter who finds herself ensnared in a plot involving expert bombers, a murderous pimp, and the former undercover guard to Abraham Lincoln, one of which vies for her heart.” (Heather Webb, Between the Sheets)

From the Back Cover

Four of the five daughters of England's Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were regal, genteel, and everything a princess should be. But one was rebellious, scandalous, and untamed.

This is her story. . . .

To the court and subjects of Queen Victoria, young Princess Louise—later the Duchess of Argyll—was the "Wild One." Proud and impetuous, she fought the constraints placed on her and her brothers and sisters, dreamed of becoming an artist, and broke with a three-hundred-year-old tradition by marrying outside of the privileged circle of European royals. Some said she wed for love. Others whispered of a scandal covered up by the Crown. It will take a handsome American, recruited by the queen's elite Secret Service, to discover the truth. But even as Stephen Byrne—code name the Raven—vows to risk his life to protect the royal family from violent Irish radicals, he tempts Louise with a forbidden love that could prove just as dangerous.

In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062123467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062123466
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Hart Perry lives in Maryland with her two cats and her husband--who graciously shares litter box duties. Miranda, a calico born to be a writer's muse, sits at the author's left typing hand, periodically nudging it toward a next word. Smoky-gray Tempest purrs when being read to and helps with revisions. When not writing, Mary speaks across the U.S., teaching the exciting craft of writing fiction, and in support of teen and adult literacy.

As Kathryn Johnson, she also teaches fiction writing at The Writer's Center in Washington, DC. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, The Historical Novel Society, Sisters in Crime, and Novelists Inc. Her appearances and inspiring lectures for universities, the Library of Congress, and other organizations across the U.S. have drawn enthusiastic audiences.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen on August 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before the story even begins, this book has a disclaimer stating that "This is a novel. That means it is fiction, fantasy, make-believe -- not a true historical account."

All that is fine; if authors of historical fiction stuck to only the known facts, novels would not only be a bit dry but give us little sense of the characters we want to see come to life.

That being said, if you're writing a book about one of Queen Victoria's children, I find it extremely annoying and distracting when simple facts about the family are botched. For example, Victoria's son did not become George IV (p. 411), he became Edward VII. Victoria did not have six daughters (p. 318), she had five. Additionally, it's hard to appreciate the "delicious tingle" that Louise experiences when Donovan says her name for the first time (p. 135)... when he said it five page earlier (p. 130). These mistakes either represent bad research or bad editing, both of which diminish the reader's experience.

Ultimately, this book is a predictable soap opera unworthy of the woman whose story it purports to tell. If you're actually interested in reading about Princess Louise and her sisters, I'd highly recommend Jerrold Packard's "Victoria's Daughters" -- a fascinating, personal, very readable nonfiction account of their lives.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Teressa Morris on July 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
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 Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's youngest child. I can't wait.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review. All opinions are 100% my own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joyce on December 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a historical fiction account of Princess Louise, the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert during the conservative period of Victorian England. Princess Louise was one of nine children, with modern day sensibilities, and rebelled against the confining atmosphere in her royal family.

This historical account of the life and time of Queen Victoria is rich in detail and anyone with an interest in the English royal family and its genalology would love this book. The book is also set against the backdrop of what everyday life was like for a commoner in England. There are glimpses into how a royal household functions and looks, the ruthlessness and ultimate authority of the Queen's actions, family members behavior, clothes, palaces, and even what it was like to ride in the royal carriages.

Surprisingly, Princess Louise convinced her mother, the Queen, to allow her to attend art school in London with commoners. At school, she became involved in a love affair with another young artist, which resulted in a pregnancy. To prevent a scandal, this was hushed up, and the baby was brought up by Louise's friend and the son of the attending doctor, who quickly married, and claimed this baby as their own.

To exert her influence on Louise's life and try to rein her in, Queen Victoria arranged a marriage between Princess
Louise and the Marques of Lorne. Lorne was a commoner, and such a match had not taken place in 300 years. The public believed this to be a love match, but in reality, the Queen knew Lorne was gay, but felt that since her daughter was no longer a virgin, she couldn't marry her off to a royal. Perhaps this was her way of punishing her daughter for her past behavior.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By anaavu on August 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Let me just say that The Wild Princess was one of those books that's really hard to rate - it's not amazing enough to earn that elusive 5 stars but it really doesn't have any negative points to fall back into the 4 star trap, know what I mean? Overall, I'd say The Wild Princess is a wonderfully entertaining quick read and I definitely recommend it to every reader out there!

The novel is a fairly slow-paced one, but it makes sense since much of it is romance. The pace speeds up as needed though; some parts (especially the end) are quick and really fun to read. Princess Louise has had some indiscretions as a young girl which now makes her ineligible for a high marriage like her sisters. She is married to a Lorne who turns out to be gay and has married her only to protect himself from the wrath of people who think men like him should be tortured and executed. Louise is crestfallen - she had been looking forward to having children with a loving husband, nevertheless, she agrees to keep his secret. Starved for affection, she meets the handsome, dangerous-looking secret agent the Queen has just employed from America and the story begins. There are two main plots at once - the romance between her and Stephen, as well as the numerous attacks being made on the Queen's family to get Ireland's independence. There is one very unexpected twist in the story that you just have to read and enjoy!

The superb characterization is what really drives this novel. Even the minor characters are given 3 dimensions - they each have their own personalities and understandable motivations for their actions, whether good or bad. Louise is everything you could want in a historical fiction protagonist - beautiful, headstrong, flawed - a rebel against the system.
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