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The King's Mistress: The True and Scandalous Story of the Woman Who Stole the Heart of George I by [Gold, Claudia]
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The King's Mistress: The True and Scandalous Story of the Woman Who Stole the Heart of George I Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 337 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

'Claudia Gold's opening chapters are hectic and brilliant, like the Keystone Cops with chandeliers, as she attempts to track these ever fluctuating liaisons and dignities' Daily Express. (Daily Express)

'Gold has produced a vivid and enjoyable biography that highlights the sympathetic side of Melusine's character, while acknowledging the acquisitiveness and lack of scruple that made her so unpopular' Spectator. (Spectator)

About the Author

Claudia Gold holds a Masters degree in medieval history. She has researched and written for a number of TV documentaries. Her first book, Queen, Empress, Concubine: Fifty Women Rulers from the Queen of Sheba to Catherine the Great was published by Quercus in 2009. She lives in London with her husband and their two children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2548 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849164118
  • Publisher: Quercus (26 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074VPIIC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
History makes it a bit confusing anyway, because so many of the fathers and sons and female members of the family had the same names. Obviously that is not the fault of the author, but she seems to compound the confusion by jumping backwards and forwards and not always dealing with events chronologically. When you have read about someone's demise, they crop up again a couple of chapters later. I also find the writing style rather dry and boring.
Sorry, not a page-turner for me as I find the book very easy to put down.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the life of Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, a woman who lived with, loved, and was loved by George, Elector of Hanover and first Hanoverian King of England. All that I have ever read that has mentioned Melusine (as she was known) in any kind of detail implies that she was loathed by the English (who indeed nicknamed her ‘the Maypole’). Anything else about this woman seems to have remained in the shadows. The author has attempted to bring Melusine herself into the light and explain her in the context of her own times.

She was born in Emden, just two miles from the North Sea, on Christmas Day in 1667, the daughter ofCount Gustav Adolph and his first wife, Petronilla Ottilia. Her family were minor aristocrats whose ennoblement dated from the thirteenth century. Melusine’s father entered the service of the Elector of Brandenburg, where he was successful in forging a career. His daughter Melusine was therefore a good candidate when Sophia, the wife of the Elector of Hanover, was looking for women to serve her daughter-in-law Sophia Dorothea, wife of George, the eldest son of Elector Ernst August. Not that Hanover was an Electorate until 1692, so it was paramount to those ruling there that that exalted status be maintained, and if possible, bettered. Sophia’s potential to succeed Queen Anne in England on her childless death meant that she had lineage; and the Hanoverian dynasty was determined to succeed politically as well.

The author writes well of Melusine; almost immediately upon her arrival at the court of Hanover in 1690 she appears to have become involved in a relationship with George.
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Format: Hardcover
Interesting and well-written book about the life of George I of Great Britain / Georg Ludwig of Hannover and his mistress Melusine von der Schulenberg. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject matter of late 17th/early 18th history, especially since it is a much more compact read than Ragnhild Hatton's more comprehensive work about George I. Just the right mix of gossip and serious history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
For a biography this has remarkably little about the subject; there's far too much padding about other people in the story and lengthy digressions in eighteenth century London and royal palaces. Presumably a word limit had to be hit, given the relatively scanty information about the countess. There's a few contradictions, eg Britain had a population of 6 million and 8 million, George arrived in England in August and September 1714.The author expects the reader to know who Gustavus Adolphus is and who Harley is without explaining (yet goes on to state who Horace Walpole is). There's factual inaccuracy; rather more than 28 men were hanged for treason in 1715-6 and Wyndham was not in Northumberland with Forster in 1716. The scanty military details of the '15 are confused; there were two main Jacobite armies; one in Scotland and an Anglo-Scots one in the north of England. Riots in 1715-6 were not confined to London, the Midlands and the South. Bolingbroke left England before the '15 not afterwards. The author hasn't read Szechi's The Great Jacobite Rising or Margaret Sankey on that rising's consequences - the latter shows that the king's handling of it was far from barbaric (qv the Bloody Assizes of 1685). George, Elector of Hanover, was hardly a 'brilliant' general (he was hardly in Marlborough's league) and he was not alone in contemporary European rulers to be energetic; eg Frederick William the 'Great Elector', Louis XIV, Peter the Great et al.

Some good proof reading by an eighteenth century specialist - or wider reading by the author - would have made this a better book.
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