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That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

This alternative history for young adults stars Victoria-Margaret, crown princess of the British Empire. She is to spend an incognito summer of debutante balls and negotiations in Canada as she quietly gets to know August Callaghan, a potential husband, away from the glare of London. Genetics is the crown jewel of the Empire where politically advantageous marriages maintain the Crown’s rule. But as the summer progresses, Margaret discovers a fond love for August as well as soul-crushing love for her newest friend in Canada, Helena. This forward-thinking version of Britain expanded the Empire not through force, but by careful negotiations thereby creating a diverse royal line. The line though is not so diverse as to be prepared for the crown princess to take a queen of her own. Victoria-Margaret, Helena, and August will just have to work something out.

This imaginative alternative history offers a different perspective on the Victorian age. Queen Victoria did marry her children off for a political advantage but the Empire ultimately fell over the years following her death. This work surmises that it did not while attempting to redevelop Britain’s colonial past. Race is briefly discussed in this work when highlighting Victoria-Margaret’s mixed race heritage (again, sidestepping historic racism involved with a colonial empire), sexuality is the central theme of this work. Bisexuality is often erased/ignored but is addressed fully with That Inevtiable Victorian Thing while also being one of the few books to introduce polyamory.

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One Comment

  1. Jesus tapdancing christ

    I ain’t the most culturally aware person in the world, but even I know that “what if colonialism was somehow peaceful and not racist?” is a really bad idea for a book premise.

    The British empire was built *entirely* upon white supremacist violence. Suggesting that the Crown could have become “diverse” and “forward-thinking” without giving up their bloody quest to take over the world is an insult to colonized people.

    I want representation as much as the next polyamourous bi person, but not if it comes at the expense of whitewashing and romanticizing imperialism.

    Barb GQ
    Apr 15, 2022 Reply

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