A Humble Companion by Laurie Graham is a novel about the Royal Family in the 18th to 19th centuries, from the reign of King George III to Queen Victoria. The story begins in 1788. Nellie Welche is a twelve year old girl with a horrible birthmark on her face. She lives a comfortable life home in Soho with her parents. Her father, a chef for the household of the Prince of Wales, suggests to the King that Nellie might make a suitable companion to nine year old Princess Sophia, the daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte.
King George III
Author Laurie Graham skilfully inter-weaves an interesting tale through the turbulence of the 18th century, a time of extreme suffering, restrictions, poverty, and privilege. I thoroughly enjoyed the contrast between Nellie's independence and the restrictions Sofy must learn to live within. This is definitely a character driven novel with a strong vein of historical fact woaven throughout. For this reason, I found the characters and story very believable, informative, and realistic in every way. I especially enjoyed the way the author dealt with King George's fluctuations between madness and coherent stability - respectful and touching, especially how it impacted his wife and family. For anyone who loves novels about the English Royalty who want a factual, realistic portrayal, then this is definitely a book to get. Extremely enjoyable.
|From History and Women|