|Frances Theresa Stuart by Peter Lely|
In the meantime, Frances must deal with the jealousy of Charles’ official mistress, Barbara Villiers, and the plots of courtiers who seek to manipulate her. Although Frances is often judged to be a ninny, Jefferson portrays her as a clever woman who knows how to survive in a jungle of intrigues. As a Catholic, Frances also struggles with her conscience, and is never at peace when her virtue is compromised. This aspect adds a deeper layer to what is otherwise a tale of sexual politics. When the opportunity to become another Anne Boleyn presents itself, Frances must decide between her own happiness and what is best for England.
Written with spirit and insight, the novel reveals both the glamour and the dirt of court life while peering into the soul of a woman who is one of the unsung heroines of English history.
(*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.)