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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully descriptive....
This well written historical novel tells the story of Frances Stuart, the beautiful ingénue who captured the heart of a king.When sixteen year old Frances arrives at the English court, her vulnerability and innocence acts as a magnet to a King who is well adept at getting what he wants from women, and yet he can't accept that this one women is beyond his reach...
Published on 20 Oct. 2011 by jaffareadstoo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting introduction to Charles II's court
I love historical novels but I've spent a bit too much time in medieval and Tudor England recently, so I was very glad to visit the mid 17th century court of King Charles II with this one.
And because it's peopled almost entirely with real-life characters - the 'painted lady' is Frances Stuart, famous for being just about the only woman at court who refused to sleep...
Published 6 months ago by Bookwoman


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully descriptive...., 20 Oct. 2011
By 
jaffareadstoo (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Painted Lady (Paperback)
This well written historical novel tells the story of Frances Stuart, the beautiful ingénue who captured the heart of a king.When sixteen year old Frances arrives at the English court, her vulnerability and innocence acts as a magnet to a King who is well adept at getting what he wants from women, and yet he can't accept that this one women is beyond his reach. There was endless speculation at the time about "La Belle Stuart" and her relationship with the King, and the "have they, or haven't they" element to their romance added fuel to 17c gossip mongers.

Beautifully descriptive of the restoration period this book brings to life the glittering court of Charles II. The rivalry that existed between the king's mistresses is expertly captured, and yet it's refreshing to read a restoration romance that doesn't involve graphic descriptions of Charles II's sex life !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting introduction to Charles II's court, 13 Sept. 2014
By 
Bookwoman - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Painted Lady (Kindle Edition)
I love historical novels but I've spent a bit too much time in medieval and Tudor England recently, so I was very glad to visit the mid 17th century court of King Charles II with this one.
And because it's peopled almost entirely with real-life characters - the 'painted lady' is Frances Stuart, famous for being just about the only woman at court who refused to sleep with the king - you can use the internet to look up all the Lely portraits as they're mentioned in the book.
I actually found this much more enjoyable than the book itself. All the notorious characters you'd expect are in it, people like Barbara Castlemaine and the Earl of Rochester, and of course there's the plague and the Great Fire of London to cover, too. But despite all these possibilities it never quite comes to life: the characters are drawn far too superficially to get under their skin, so it's hard to care. And what little plot there is - will La Belle Stuart succumb to the king's demands? - is very repetitive, and the hero, Frances's true love the Duke of Richmond, is dull in the extreme.
Unfortunately, it didn't help that I'd re-read Diana Norman's wonderful The Vizard Mask quite recently, which deals with virtually the same period and many of the same characters. It's not my favourite of her books, but when it comes to bringing history to life it's in a different league altogether.
But this was very readable and I'll look for other books from this author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pulling back the curtains on a fascinating and determined restoration beauty, 8 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Painted Lady (Paperback)
I've always been interested in This young lady. Frances Stewart. the woman who kept giving Charles II, a notorious and serial womaniser out of her bed. And everywhere else. The pressure brought to bear on her virtue must have been astonishing, but she stood absolutely rock solid firm against attacks coming at her from all sides. What a pity she's no longer in our coins. Personally, I'd probably have caved - if the price was right. It's sad though, that after her years of waiting for the man we have to accept that she really did love, she had such a short time with him, and never had the brood of happy children she'd wanted so badly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Found the plot boring &, 14 July 2014
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Not an era likely to excite me but i persevered. Found the plot boring & repetitive
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 29 Dec. 2012
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Mrs. Nicola Hedges (Northampton,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Painted Lady (Kindle Edition)
Read this book over the Xmas holidays
You are constantly wondering if she will allow herself to be the kings mistress ,sad ending to the story
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 7 Oct. 2012
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I was very pleased with this book as I found that the story was well written and well paced. This was the first time I have read a book by this author and I will be reading more of her books. I would definitely recommend this book for those who like historical fiction (based on fact.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read bringing the Stuart court to life. ..., 16 Feb. 2015
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An enjoyable read bringing the Stuart court to life. I am drawn between celebrating Frances's stand against the King and feeling sorry for him. I willlook to read more of Maeve Harans books.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars strong willed lady, 24 Oct. 2011
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Mrs. E. Maher "elliemay" (blackpool, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Painted Lady (Paperback)
A true story of a strong willed woman who lived at court and was pursued by King Charles 2nd, but resisted his advances. The historical events of the plague and the great fire of London, and court life were very informative. Unfortunately the love story was bland, and a bit boring, no exciting episodes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 13 Dec. 2013
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What a cracking book! Maeve Haran brings the life and times of Charles II alive. The writing is just so clever that you feel that you are there at court and in London. The pace never lets up and keeps you gripped to the end. Loved it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool view into history, 28 Jan. 2013
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A highly enjoyable read. Maeve Haran takes you there in a most convincing manner. Looking forward to another historical day out.
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The Painted Lady
The Painted Lady by Maeve Haran (Paperback - 19 Aug. 2011)
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