Book review: Mistress of the Court by Laura Purcell



  • Series: Georgian Queens
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Myrmidon Books Ltd (August 4, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910183075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910183076


Orphaned and trapped in an abusive marriage, Henrietta Howard has little left to lose. She stakes everything on a new life in Hanover with its royal family, the heirs to the British throne. Henrietta’s beauty and intelligence soon win her the friendship of clever Princess Caroline and her mercurial husband, Prince George. But, as time passes, it becomes clear that friendship is the lastthing on the hot-blooded young prince’s mind. Dare Henrietta give into his advances and anger her violent husband? Dare she refuse?

Whatever George’s shortcomings, Princess Caroline is determined to make the family a success. Yet the feud between her husband and his obstinate father threatens all she has worked for. As England erupts in Jacobite riots, her family falls apart. She vows to save the country for her children to inherit – even if it costs her pride and her marriage. Set in the turbulent years of the Hanoverian accession, Mistress of the Court tells the story of two remarkable women at the centre of George II’s reign.

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98XkSu2NMeet the author:   Laura Purcell is a writer, history fan and guinea pig lover living in Colchester. She is writing a series of novels about the women who loved (and hated!) the Hanoverian monarchs.

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Sometimes you just want to sit down with a really, really good book.  I enjoy historical fiction and was thoroughly engrossed in Mistress of the Court.  The book was well-written, the characters fully developed and the storyline easy to follow.

Henrietta is a noblewoman with no income or future, married to a drunken, abusive soldier. She is desperate to improve her life for both herself and her son and sells everything she has, including her hair to enable her to travel to the Hanoverian Court in Germany where, with time, she can earn enough for her freedom.  Soon she moves up from poor relation to the mistress of George, the future King.  She longs for security and love but the intrigues, false friends, backstabbing and powerplays create turmoil for Henrietta, who also fears the return of her physically and emotionally abusive husband.

The plot is written from the viewpoint of both Henrietta and Princess Caroline.  You are able sympathize with both women, each with her own internal struggle and ambition.  Their relationship is symbiotic yet simultaneously destructive.  Who will survive?



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