- 45,00 kr
London, 1660: Ready to throw off a generation of Puritan rule, all England rejoices when Charles Stuart returns to reclaim the throne. Among those welcoming him is young Barbara Villiers Palmer, a breathtaking Royalist beauty whose sensuality and clever wit instantly captivate the handsome, jaded king. Though each is promised to another, Barbara soon becomes Charles's mistress and closest friend, and the uncrowned queen of his bawdy Restoration court. Rewarded with titles, land, and jewels, she is the most envied and desired woman in England--and the most powerful. But the role of royal mistress is a precarious one, and Barbara's enemies and rivals are everywhere in the palace.
As in her popular Duchess, about Sarah Churchill, Scott captures in her latest historical romance the brilliance and hard beauty of Barbara Palmer (Lady Castlemaine), the Merry Monarch's most famous and enduring mistress. A young but far from innocent Barbara marries rich but proper Roger Palmer, whose Royalist politics set them on the path that will make her a famous courtesan and favorite of King Charles II. Lusty, bawdy and cunning, she's a fine match for the king, whose reign is portrayed as fraught with great expectations that go largely unfulfilled. Both Charles and his court are pleasingly debauched, and Charles, though well-intentioned, proves himself to be "a very poor king as kings went." Charles's court is frequently depicted in this genre, but Scott finds a careful balance in Barbara, not salvaging her as a sinner, but giving her something of a heart under all that reputation.