The Merry Monarch's Wife

A Queens of England Novel

Book 9
Sold by Broadway Books
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Charles II is restored to the English throne, and his court is lively and even scandalous. The country is eager for succession to be clear and certain: The next king will be the son of Charles II and his queen, Catherine of Braganza. Yet Catherine, daughter of the king of Portugal and a Catholic, has never been popular with the English people. She is also having great difficulty conceiving an heir, even as many of Charles’s well-known mistresses are bearing his children with ease. Catherine is aware that courtiers close to Charles are asking him to divorce her and take another wife—yet she is determined to hold her title in the face of all odds.

The ninth novel in the beloved Queens of England series, The Merry Monarch’s Wife brings Catherine of Braganza to life and plunges readers into the tumultuous world of Restoration England.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Jan 22, 2008
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780307409966
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this unforgettable novel of Queen Victoria, Jean Plaidy re-creates a remarkable life filled with romance, triumph, and tragedy.

At birth, Princess Victoria was fourth in line for the throne of England, the often-overlooked daughter of a prince who died shortly after her birth. She and her mother lived in genteel poverty for most of her childhood, exiled from court because of her mother’s dislike of her uncles, George IV and William IV. A strong, willful child, Victoria was determined not to be stifled by her powerful uncles or her unpopular, controlling mother. Then one morning, at the age of eighteen, Princess Victoria awoke to the news of her uncle William’s death. The almost-forgotten princess was now Queen of England. Even better, she was finally free of her mother’s iron hand and her uncles’ manipulations. Her first act as queen was to demand that she be given a room—and a bed—of her own.

Victoria’s marriage to her German cousin, Prince Albert, was a blissfully happy one that produced nine children. Albert was her constant companion and one of her most trusted advisors. Victoria’s grief after Prince Albert’s untimely death was so shattering that for the rest of her life—nearly forty years—she dressed only in black. She survived several assassination attempts, and during her reign England’s empire expanded around the globe until it touched every continent in the world.

Derided as a mere “girl queen” at her coronation, by the end of her sixty-four-year reign, Victoria embodied the glory of the British Empire. In this novel, written as a “memoir” by Victoria herself, she emerges as truthful, sentimental, and essentially human—both a lovable woman and a great queen.
Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England’s most intriguing and powerful queen.

Even at age two, Elizabeth is keenly aware that people in the court of her father, King Henry VIII, have stopped referring to her as “Lady Princess” and now call her “the Lady Elizabeth.” Before she is three, she learns of the tragic fate that has befallen her mother, the enigmatic and seductive Anne Boleyn, and that she herself has been declared illegitimate, an injustice that will haunt her.

What comes next is a succession of stepmothers, bringing with them glimpses of love, fleeting security, tempestuous conflict, and tragedy. The death of her father puts the teenage Elizabeth in greater peril, leaving her at the mercy of ambitious and unscrupulous men. Like her mother two decades earlier she is imprisoned in the Tower of London—and fears she will also meet her mother’s grisly end. Power-driven politics, private scandal and public gossip, a disputed succession, and the grievous example of her sister, “Bloody” Queen Mary, all cement Elizabeth’s resolve in matters of statecraft and love, and set the stage for her transformation into the iconic Virgin Queen.

Alison Weir uses her deft talents as historian and novelist to exquisitely and suspensefully play out the conflicts between family, politics, religion, and conscience that came to define an age. Sweeping in scope, The Lady Elizabeth is a fascinating portrayal of a woman far ahead of her time—an orphaned girl haunted by the shadow of the axe, an independent spirit who must use her cunning and wits for her very survival, and a future queen whose dangerous and dramatic path to the throne shapes her future greatness.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.
In this compelling novel of Tudor drama and suspense, acclaimed author Alison Weir brings to life one of England’s most scandalous royal love affairs: the romance between the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I and her courtier Lord Robert Dudley.
 
Only twenty-five and newly crowned, Elizabeth vows to rule the country as both queen and king. But her counselors continually press her to form an advantageous marriage and produce an heir. Though none of the suitors have yet worked their way to her throne, the dashing—though married—Lord Robert lays claim to Elizabeth’s heart. Their flagrant flirting, their unescorted outings, and the appointment of Lord Robert to Master of Horse inspire whispers through the court, and even rumors that Elizabeth has secretly given birth to Lord Robert’s child.
 
Events take a dark turn when Robert’s wife is found dead. Universal shock is followed by accusations of murder. Despite the scandal, Elizabeth and Robert manage to navigate the choppy political, economic, and religious waters around them. But the greatest obstacle to marriage between the Queen and her true love may come not from outside forces, but from within.
 
With intricate period detail and captivating prose, Alison Weir explores one of history’s most provocative “Did they or didn’t they?” debates. The Marriage Game maneuvers through the alliances, duplicities, intrigue, and emotions of a woman intent on sovereignty—over her country and herself.

Praise for The Marriage Game
 
“Entrancing . . . Weir manages to weave actual history and the imagined kind together seamlessly.”—Huntington News
 
“Weir’s credible characters and blend of the personal and political will sweep up readers of this engrossing behind-the-scenes psychological portrait of Elizabeth.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Based on historical events, letters and conjecture, Weir paints a fascinating picture of Elizabeth’s years as queen. . . . There is enough drama here for a PBS series.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“Weir’s impeccable reputation as both a historian and a master storyteller guarantees a huge audience for another intriguing Tudor-themed tale.”—Booklist
 
Praise for Alison Weir
 
A Dangerous Inheritance
 
“A juicy mix of romance, drama and Tudor history . . . pure bliss for today’s royal watchers.”—Ladies’ Home Journal
 
“Highly compelling [with] plenty to keep readers enthralled.”—Historical Novel Review
 
Captive Queen
 
“Should be savored . . . Weir wastes no time captivating her audience.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Stunning . . . As always, Weir renders the bona fide plot twists of her heroine’s life with all the mastery of a thriller author, marrying historical fact with licentious fiction.”—The Denver Post
 
The Lady Elizabeth
 
“Intrigue and maneuverings. Scandal. Schemers and innocents put to death. [This] history of Tudor England is an engrossing story. . . . Weir marries conjecture with what is known about the life of Elizabeth I from childhood to coronation, and it makes for ripping good reading.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“A compelling, even irresistible, read.”—Booklist (starred review)
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