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Mistress of the Court (Georgian Queens) Paperback – 4 Aug 2015
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About the Author
Laura Purcell is a former Waterstones bookseller who lives in Colchester. She is a member of the Society for Court Studies and Historic Royal Palaces and featured on a recent PBS documentary, talking about Queen Caroline's life at Hampton Court. She maintains a history blog at www.laurapurcell.com.
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The loss of her father at a young age, followed by the deaths of her elder siblings, left Henrietta at the mercy of relatives at a young age. Through duty, she married a man who proved to be a disastrous choice, but her strong character made her determined to overcome both physical abuse and the privations of a noble family but without the financial rewards. Queen Anne is reaching the end of her reign, and through determination and keen intelligence, Henrietta takes her husband to Herrenhausen, where she cultivates the heir to the throne, Sophia of Hanover. When her son becomes George I of England, Henrietta returns to her homeland having established court positions for herself and her feckless husband.
Henrietta is not to be left alone to enjoy her achievement, and instead, has to fight for everything she has, and fight again when circumstances contrive to deprive her of what she loves.
ManoeveredManoeuvred into a position at court she never sought, subject to the jealousies of others, the spite of her husband and the resentment of her royal mistress, Caroline of Ansbach, Henrietta remains serene, aristocratic and unaffected – at least to the outside world.
Written in a realistic, but unsentimental way, this is a fictional, but chillingly accurate account of Henrietta’s misery among the luxury of court life, while clinging to the belief that one day, she will be able to have a life entirely her own. Ms Purcell’s knowledge of the intimate life of the Hanoverians is stunning, and in this novel she has brought a remarkable, and unappreciated heroine to gritty, heart-breaking life. A definite keeper.
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