Queen Victoria smiling, 1887 (catalogue reference: COPY 1/381 f350)

24 May 2012

To complement The National Archives' online exhibition, the Royal Archives has loaned four of Queen Victoria's schoolroom exercise books for display in The National Archives' museum. This is the first time these books will have been seen in public.

The loan is one of a number of projects relating to Queen Victoria, including the digitisation of her private journals, which have been undertaken by the Royal Archives to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Archives is working in partnership with several organisations, including The National Archives, to make the material it holds more widely available. The exercise books will be on display at The National Archives in Kew until 18 August and include:

  • 'Sophia and Adolphus' short stories
    In 1829, while holidaying with her mother at Broadstairs, in Kent, the ten-year-old Princess Victoria wrote a short story, 'Sophia and Adolphus', "in the style of Miss Edgeworth's Harry and Lucy". She actually produced two versions of the tale, one in pencil with drawings, and another intended for her Governess written more formally in pen.
  • Letter writing exercise book
    This little volume, dating from 1830-1831 is one of a set of five letter-writing exercise books. Her teacher's corrections can be seen throughout, and after each letter, she has re-written the words which needed correction.
  • History notebooks on Queens and Empresses throughout history
    The handwriting shows that it was probably written sometime between 1835 and 1837, shortly before Princess Victoria herself became a Queen.