10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Rediscovered - the women King George I should have married -a forgotten royal mistress,
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This review is from: The King's Mistress: Scandal, Intrigue and the True Story of the Woman Who Stole George I's Heart (Hardcover)
Royal mistresses are part of royal life through the centuries. As personal happiness was often not found with the official, but of equal standing wife the male royals has an alternative - a mistress. Many king has them and their offsprings were recognised and elevated to the peerage and founding noble houses existing till today. The royal mistress was much more than a mere sexual partner, often - even if not quite - replacing the Queen. They had position, richess, influence and often remember in history.
Well Melusine von der Schulenburg belonged to this category. Of a minor baronial house she became in a short period of time George I mistress and remained his partner for the rest of his life. She was a "double Duchess (of Munster and of Kendal, a princess of the Empire and mother of his daughters. So why do we not know her well? Why is she not one of those well known royal mistresses like those of Charles II?
Well, I suppose first of all she was only duchess for life, the titles were not transmitted to her offsprings, her daughters by the King were not recogniszed and these girls did not founded great noble houses whose members played an important part in history. On top: George's scandalous marriage (a lover of his wife murdered, the divorce and imprisonment of the ex-wife). The author however seems to belive that in the end George even married Melusine, but there is no prove and rather believe that they did not marry. Melusine was not a Madame de Maintenant, the morganatic and "open-secret" second wife of Luois XIV of France.
The author has done a great job rescuing Melusine and putting her back into the rightful place as George's partner. The book is written with great style and flow. It is never boring and gives a great inside into her life. I enjoyed reading it.
However, I have a few misgivings: the first part of the book dealing with Melusine's backgroudn is fairly week. She does not even give the maiden name of her mother. There are a few, even if minor errors and the photos could have been more extensive.
All in all, a book I can recommended. It makes a wonderful addition to my ever expanding collection of books on the British royal famliy.