Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Porter’s ambitious novel of 17th-century England is brimming with vivid historical figures and events connected through Charles, Duke of St. Albans and illegitimate son of King Charles II, and his wife, Lady Diana de Vere, renowned for her “beauty, charity and religious devotion.” Teenage Charles and the strong-willed Diana become enamored through hawking, and they marry. The years bring a dramatic change to the monarchy when King Charles II dies suddenly and the rigid James II assumes the crown; many are opposed to King James, including Diana and Charles, and there is tremendous unrest at home and abroad. Battles of will and war ensue—on the field, in Parliament, and in the royal court—over politics, religion, and privilege. The year 1689 brings a new coronation, of King William III, who has seized the throne from his father-in-law, King James; he rules with his wife, Queen Mary, who Diana serves as maid of honor and trusted confidante. Charles and Diana weather two minor betrayals and a tragic loss in a long, loving, faithful marriage with many children. Porter’s palace plots, jealousy, betrayals, infidelities, and beheadings are rigorously researched and are faithfully portrayed. (BookLife)