MISTRESS OF THE COURT: Historic Fiction ~Laura Purcell
TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of MISTRESS OF THE COURT for review. It is quite an interesting historic study and the author has done a great deal of research before adding her fictional parts. I quite enjoyed this good read.
“The second in Laura Purcell’s captivating and acclaimed series of novels chronicling the lives and loves of the consorts and mistresses of Britain’s rash, reckless and ebullient Hanoverian kings.
Her first novel, Queen of Bedlam, was published by Myrmidon in the summer of 2014.” (TLC Book Tours page)
About the Author from the TLC Book Tours site:
“Laura Purcell is a former Waterstones bookseller who lives in Colchester. She is a member of the Society for Court Studies and Historic Royal Palaces and featured on a recent PBS documentary, talking about Queen Caroline’s life at Hampton Court. She maintains a history blog at laurapurcell.com.”
Henrietta is an orphan who marries very young to a man who is extremely abusive. His blows of anger deafen her and she is forced to flee his rages in order to feed her son. She heads off to the House of Hanover in hopes of finding employment for herself and her husband as Princess Caroline and Prince George wait their turn as the royal family in England. George’s father, George Ludwig becomes the first King and he handles the court with an iron hand and unbounded cruelty towards his family.
Henrietta becomes an attendant to Caroline and they develop a friendship; well one of tentative trust and power inequality. They both loose their sons to fathers and control issues. Caroline offers some protection to Henrietta and some relief from her husband and the abuse.
There is a considerable amount of true story to this book and the story weaves in conversations, which could truly have happened. Purcell is an accomplished storyteller and historian of this royal family tree. She has studied the family and is now working on a series of stories about the Hanover Court. I have always enjoyed reading these historic fiction pieces and have been a great fan of Philippa Gregory’s work over the years. My mother in her childhood had to memorize the English Kings and Queens and study them in school and I read a number of these stories to her in her later years. She much more enjoyed US historic fiction and thought it was wise to only have President’s for eight years not so many royals.
I had some confusion at the beginning of the book and needed pencil and paper to keep things straight and then I found a rhythm that made the book more enjoyable. I put aside an hour to wander the Internet to read more about this Court and their times as a general history lesson and to bring me more in line with what I was reading. I do like this genre and think I would have devoured this story when I was in high school. This read did not dwell so much on beheadings and torture, it was more about the family experience and the role of waiting for your turn.