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The Scandalous Duchess

The Scandalous Duchess [Kindle Edition]

Anne O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Better than Philippa Gregory. --The Bookseller

Anne O'Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists. --Sunday Express

Product Description

If you will be a great man’s mistress you must pay the price...

1372, The Savoy. Widow Lady Katherine Swynford presents herself for a role in the household of merciless royal prince John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, hoping to end her destitution. But the Duke’s scandalous proposition leaves her life of pious integrity reeling...

Seduced by the glare of royal adoration, Katherine becomes John’s mistress. She will leave behind everything she has stood for to play second fiddle to his young wife and ruthless ambition. She will live in the shadows of the most powerful man in England in the hope of a love greater than propriety.

But soon the court whispers – whore, harlot, vile temptress – reach the ears of not just John’s bride but his most dangerous political enemies. As the Plantagenet prince is accused of bringing England to its knees, who better to blame than shameless she-devil Katherine Swynford? Dragged from the shadows, Katherine must answer for her sins.

‘Once again O’Brien proves herself a medieval history magician, conjuring up a sizzling, sweeping story ... Unashamedly romantic, packed with powerful emotions and the dramatic unfolding of an affair that changed the course of royal history, this is a novel in which to relax, unwind… and escape.’

Lancashire Evening Post

‘Anne O’Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists.’Sunday Express

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6009 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA; New edition edition (7 Mar 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G2DLN78
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Anne O'Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a B.A. Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Masters in Education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding for many years as a teacher of history.

She now lives with her husband in an eighteenth century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. It is a wild, beautiful place on the borders between England and Wales, renowned for its black and white timbered houses, ruined castles and priories and magnificent churches. It is steeped in history, famous people and bloody deeds as well as ghosts and folk lore, all providing inspiration.

She wrote her first historical romance, a Regency, for Harlequin Mills and Boon in 2005, followed by ten historical novels and a novella, ranging from medieval, through the English Civil War and Restoration and back to Regency. She has been published in the UK, North America and Australia as well as in translation throughout Europe and in Japan.

She is now writing novels based on the lives of historical characters.
Virgin Widow is the story of Anne Neville, wife of Richard III. It was long-listed by the RNA for the Romantic Novel of the Year award.
Devil's Consort tells of the early adventures of Eleanor of Aquitaine through marriage, divorce, crusading and taking a new husband who will protect her lands.
The King's Concubine plots the exciting and outrageous life of Alice Perrers and King Edward III can be seen to draw a parallel with modern royalty with it's tale of one marriage and three people; proud king; loving wife and infamous mistress.
The Forbidden Queen: Katherine de Valois, tragic wife of England's hero Henry V. But then came the second marriage to owen Tudor. And look at the consequences ...
The Scandalous Duchess. The iconic love story of Katherine Swynford and the Duke of Lancaster that broke all the rules but still intrigues us today.
The King's Sister. To be released in hard back in November 2014 in the UK. The story of Elizabeth of Lancaster, caught up in dramatic and bloody family politics in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A contribution of value! 24 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Theresa Tomlinson's review
Mar 24, 14 · edit

4 of 5 stars

I started reading this book with some trepidation as Anya Seton's KATHERINE was the book that started me on a lifelong obsession with historical novels - and I have eventually ended up writing them myself. I didn't like the over glamorous cover design! At first I felt uncertain - the book was very easy to read and romantic - starting straight into the Katherine Swynford/John of Gaunt relationship with very little build up, but the more I continued, the more I found that the remarkable historical events seemed to take over. This story cannot follow the classical romance because we know roughly what happened and a lot of it was not romantic at all. I felt that Anne O Brian conveyed the darker moments on Katherine's life very well and I found myself reading late at night, gripped by the heroines hardships - desperate for things to improve, as I knew they must. All in all I think this novel does add something of value to Katherine's astonishing story and I feel that the more writers who tackle this interesting period the better. When I finished it I went straight back to read the Anya Seton version again and then on to Alison Weir's excellent biography of Katherine Swynford. That can't be a bad reaction! Who is going to write the next version? Judging by the interest that has developed in the Tudor period from the many different versions - this could be the next big thing!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As the BBC's `Big Read' showed Anya Seton's 'Katherine' [l954] has had an enduring appeal to readers for sixty years. It was one of the books on my mother's book shelf and I read and loved it as a young teenager. In later years, memories of enjoying this book led me firstly to undertake a pilgrimage to Lincoln Cathedral to Katherine's grave and more importantly to read Alison Weir's non fiction account 'Katherine Swynford'. Weir's book is a scholarly and fascinating account of the life story of Katherine and John of Gaunt. With these two great books firmly in mind I approached Anne O'Brien's new take on Katherine and John's love story 'The Scandalous Duchess' with some trepidation. I am happy to say this new telling of the old story did not disappoint. The story is broadly[or perhaps I should say `loosely'?] on the same lines as Seton's novel [how could it not be] but this is definitely a fresh take on the story and, although O'Brien does not credit the outstanding research done by Weir,her novel does read as if she has taken Weir's research into account when writing her story . There is no hint in Seton's novel that John of Gaunt had many sexual encounters apart from his liaison with Katherine. However O'Brien does not shirk from writing about this and the effect, we in the 21st century assume, it would have had on Katherine. Nevertheless O'Brien does stop short at speculating, as Weir does, that there is a possibility that the 58 year old John of Gaunt died of a venereal disease. For the romantically inclined reader,however,the main thing is that, as history shows us,despite misunderstandings, the lovers overcame many years of trials and tribulations until in the end : `Reader' she `married him'! The dubious fact that this was to lead to her descendants giving us the perfidious Henry 7th is something even this Richard 3rd fan was prepared to put one side in the sheer pleasure of such a satisfactory, and historically surprising ending. fjs 
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anne. O'Brien has produced her best book to date. Her knowledge of history and her infinite a facility to describe the feelings of people have helped make this the best book yet. She has chosen an extremely difficult subject, as there is so little factual history about her. But the Duchess comes to life under her skilled guidance. Lancaster is the large figure that he has always been, but her sympathic playing of him, makes him become a real person, with a glimpse of the overbearing tyrant that he could be.
The descriptions of life in those days is made real, the dripping of the roof at Kettletthorpe compared to the riches and opulence of The Savoy, makes one realise the different ways, that people existed in in those days. Katherine yearns to return to court life, but she is bound to her moldering keep, in order to preserve it for the son of her marriage.
Katherine is frequently torn between her love for Lancaster and returning to the Keewp and her duties as the land holder there.
A marvelous view of life on those days, which made me feel as though I was sharing the whole story with Katherine, together with her joys and sorrows. A superior book to Anya Setton's Katherine, the previous definite book on her.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Scandalous Duchess 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I think any author writing a novel about Katherine Swynford has a hard row to hoe. The quintessential historical novel about this enigmatic and historically important lady has to be Anya Seton’s ‘Katherine’ and for many readers any other novels about her are going to be measured against this classic and found wanting. Unfortunately this new novel featuring Katherine falls into this category.

If you haven’t read ‘Katherine’ then you will probably enjoy this romanticised version of what is actually a marvellous love story. John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford overcame many years of separation to achieve what seems to have been a happy marriage and this shines through the book. I found some of the dialogue clunky and unbelievable and found myself skimming some of it. Unfortunately I found this book a disappointing read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing take on this story from Katherine’s viewpoint
Quite a lengthy book which I read in preparation for my annual visit to the Katherine Swynford Study Day at Lincoln Cathedral. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Skaty Katie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant read, right up my street!
Published 5 days ago by Andrea Bogg
4.0 out of 5 stars I read this with some trepidation having been a great fan of Anya...
I read this with some trepidation having been a great fan of Anya Seton's 'Katherine'. However, it was an interesting and different take on the story of Katherine and John of... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mrs. J. M. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Anya Seton book about Katherine Swynford
I could not put this book down. Better than the Anya Seton book about Katherine Swynford. Loved it. Can't wait to read it again.
Published 13 days ago by marilyn edwards
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Very good
Published 15 days ago by Tommy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
an exciting story with a new twist.
Published 17 days ago by Mary Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
very good reading not too heavy going easy to associate with the characatures well done.
Published 19 days ago by c.homer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very enjoyable if you like historical novels.
Published 19 days ago by S. G. Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars really good could not put down it which was a problem ...
really good could not put down it which was a problem as it was quite a long book. gave a lot of true historical facts as well as a fiction book.good story.
Published 22 days ago by Zarndra
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very endearing storey which proves this era was difficult but not all gloom & doom
Published 23 days ago by Layla Hughes
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