Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Wandering Prince.


The Wandering Prince by Jean Plaidy.

This novel follows the life of Charles II. It begins in the time of his exile, a time when he fled England, and in so doing slipped from the grasp of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell and his henchmen had executed Charles' father, the late Charles I, his mother Henrietta Maria had taken refuge in her homeland of France and her youngest child Henriette was smuggled out of England to join her in France by Anne Villiers , a lady of court.
Two of Charles siblings, Henry and Elizabeth were both captured by Cromwell's men and imprisoned in different castles around the land, Elizabeth died but Henry escaped and eventually joined his mother in France.
Charles visited France and Holland throughout his exile.His older sister being married to the Dutch Prince he thought safety was certain. When returning to England he met Lucy Walter who would become one of his many mistresses and bore him a son, James .
Charles' favourite was his sister Henriette or Minette as he named her, she was a young child during the early exile years. The story is told through both Lucy and Minette's eyes. Minette eventually became a prominent figure in the French court , whilst Lucy was to end her days in desolation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Minette , Lucy and Henrietta Maria were all displayed as strong characters in their own ways and all showed a great fondness for the rakish 'Wandering Prince'.

1 comment:

Arleigh said...

This novel was my introduction to Charles II and I really enjoyed it. I also liked the descriptions of the court of France early in Louis XIV's rule.

I was supposed to re-read it (having read it in 2006) for our reading group, but I didn't get to it. I remember it pretty well though. I'll see if Lucy and I can't come up with some reading group questions.