Sunday, February 21, 2010


Nell Gwyn and Louise de Keroualle

Nell: “She knew, too, that the king had forced the Queen to accept Lady Castlemaine as one of the women of her bedchamber. All of London talked of it—the resentment of the Queen, the flaming arrogance of Lady Castlemaine, and the stubbornness of the King. She was sorry for the dark-eyed Queen

Nell Gwyn, the classic rags to riches story. A beautiful girl from the bad part of town hits it big on the stage and draws the interest of the most glittering figure at court none other than the king himself. I first fell in love with Nell when I read “The Perfect Royal Mistress” by Diane Haeger and since then I have always been on the look out for anything related to Nell Gwyn. Nell is the reason I fell in love with Charles II and “The Loves of Charles II” has been top on my list of must read Nell books.

I enjoyed this last portion of the book. I love “Nelly” and her quick wit. She was a fiery one when she wanted to be which I always thought was humorous. Nelly had two children with Charles and was pushing for them to get titles. She finally got her way when she beckoned her child to come to her and referred to him as a bastard, Charles was so appalled that he granted him his title right away. I love her antics my favorite was when she brought sweet meats to another of the kings mistresses and she had laced them with a sort of laxatives so that Charles would come to her that night. She was Charles lighthearted mistress and he always knew her to be in good cheer and always unconditionally faithful and loving to him. Charles owned her heart, she had eyes for none other than him.

“You know His most gracious Majesty never discards; he merely adds to his hand”.

Louise de Keroualle on the other hand is right up there with Barbara Castlemaine. Lousie was cold, ruthless, and always calculating her next move. She was a lady in the court of France to Charles sister Henrietta. When the siblings last met in Dover Henrietta had brought Louise with her as a companion on the trip. Charles being Charles a beauty never eluded him and Louise was no different. Louise was sent to Charles upon the sudden death of his sister as a comfort from the king of France. In reality she was a spy and she did everything in her power to make sure that the treaty that was signed at Dover was fulfilled. I do not like Louise and I am not sure if I ever will. In many reads she is the one who puts on the water works with Charles to get what she wants it was all a game to her.

I do not think she ever really loved Charles, at least not like good Nelly did. One good thing I can say about Louise de Keroualle is that she knocked Barbara Countess of Castlemaine of her spot of head mistress. On the other hand it was a case of the better of two evils.

All in all the two leading ladies of this book were with Charles to the end. An end it was too, poor Charles to me medically speaking it sounded like he had a stroke or a brain aneurysm. I figured a stroke when it was stated that he slumped on one side. Louise de Keroualle the witch was allowed with him because she was of noble birth but poor Nelly was not allowed near him or could not get to him, it was not stated. Charles last reference to Nelly has always haunted me when he told his brother who would be king next that “Please let poor Nelly not starve”. To me it has always been a reminder that even in the end he really loved Nelly.

5/5 Wow was that a read. Plaidy's background in psychology really showed through on this one. She just has a gift for understanding and throughly covering the human psychology. She gives you the most logical "Why" awnsers. I love her for it too, no one is like Plaidy in the fact that her descriptive details mixed with the psychology, it was like she was there and she just gets it. A highly recommended read and I am pretty sure that every question I have ever had about Charles II has now been answered. This has been one I have been dying to add to my collection and now Charles II can take his rightful place with the others on the Plaidy only book shelf.

R-Rating for sexual content
FTC-This novel is from my personal library



  1. Glad you liked Part III so much...and all the other Parts too for that matter!

    Which Part was your favorite in this book? I have not read the book yet but after reading your reviews I think Part III sounds the most intriguing :)

  2. Honestly I would have to say book one, The Wandering Prince. For many reason but the one that is most important is the story of his sister Henrietta. Going into the read I had no prior knowledge on her and man did that make for a great read.

  3. I think this was my favorite of the trilogy. I love Rochester and his witticisms and Nelly is my favorite mistress! It is so true what you say about Jean Plaidy & her psychology background... it comes out so much in her books and I never cease to be amazed by her understanding of human nature.

    I'm going to add your reviews to the links on the website :)

  4. Is that the same Rochester in the Kathleen Kellow, the mad earl? I was thinking it must be but was really unsure. Nelly is my favorite too. I know she so hits the nail right on the head with each of her books she just gets human nature. What I still do know get is how is it that she knew so so so much about history in general because each book is so detailed it is amazing.

    Thank you Arleigh for adding my reviews and an even bigger thank you for sending me this wonderful read. I LOVED it like I just knew I would.

  5. Yes, I want to read it so badly... still waiting on the library to call :D

    I don't know HOW Plaidy knew so much history and wrote SO MUCH and so many great books! It's amazing...

    The Queen's Confession, Queen of This Realm, The Captive Queen of Scots & some Holt novels are coming your way!

  6. Lizzy, Johnny Depp plays Rochester in the film The Libertine. It's a pretty sad movie by the end, but he characterizes Rochester well. Rochester is perhaps one of my favorite rakes from history. He was definitely one of the bright lights of Charles's court that makes me love that whole era so incredibly much! I also have read The Perfect Royal Mistress by Diane Haeger and I want to read the Susan Holloway Scott version too (have it on my shelf but want to read her Charles II mistress series in order - think I will use those for the Royal Mistress Reading Challenge). Love Nell and love Jean Plaidy! Great review Lizzy glad you loved the book so much!

  7. I also have a Plaidy only on my bookcase that is in my bedroom... and I thought I was the only one that did that!!! :)

  8. I have several of her books,but have not yet read them. I already have shelves dedicated to authors and will have to look hard for one for her. By the sound of things, I'll need it.

  9. Nell Gwyn is my favorite, too. I love THE KING's FAVORITE by Susan Holloway Scott.

  10. arleigh, I would be so bad and keep it, I know baddddd! I have figured if you average out her novels she wrote more than 2 books a year for like 50 years, which is insane. That much creativity came from one persons mind is just unexplainable. She is amazing.

    OOOOOOOOHHHHHH how did you know I was going to buy those ones in my secret shopping trip. Is Captive Queen of Scots the first in the Stuart Saga?

    Allie, yummy I love johnny depp I have not heard of Libertine. I will have to see if the library has a copy. Plaidy barely touched on him in this one but I hope to follow up with more.

    Celtic lady, I know Arleigh's Plaidy challenge started me on it. The graphic from last years challenge, I want all mine to line up like that with all the pretty ones together. Someday, someday.

    LibraryPat, once you read one it is like M&M's you can not have just one. Her style even in some of the messiest area's rings clear as day. No confusion.

    Christy, I just got it last week from amazon and was giddy when it finally arrived. It is next on my list next to the Josephine B series. Figures we both love Nell we are so much alike.

  11. Great review Lizzy! Well done! I know just what you are saying about Plaidy, she rocks! I just purchased this book in a Plaidy lot buy on Ebay.

  12. I could be wrong about this, but I don't think The Captive Queen of Scots and Royal Road to Fotheringhay are a series, just both on Mary Queen of Scots. Honestly I have not read them because I'm not a fan of Mary Stuart. Plaidy wrote others on her... a young adult novel and one called Fair Devil of Scotland (I think) which may be a non-fiction. These last two are hard to find.

  13. Susie, what a score, I stay away from E bay there is just too much stuff I want and I can barely hold myself back when I go there.

    Okay so I finally dug into my bookmarks and found the page where it has the full list and this is the most reliable source I have. It looks like there are mini series inside of the Stuart series as a whole but here is the list on order .

    Mary Stuart Series
    The Royal Road to Fotheringay Vol. 1
    The Captive Queen of Scots Vol. 2

    James I
    The Murder in the Tower

    Charles II Trilogy
    The Wandering Prince Vol. 1
    Health Unto His Majesty Vol. 2
    Here Lies our Sovereign Lord Vol. 3
    Charles II Vol. 1,2,3

    Stuart Saga
    The Three Crowns Vol. 1
    The Haunted Sisters Vol. 2
    The Queen's Favorites Vol. 3
    Last of the Stuarts Vol. 1,2,3

    Wow that was a mess to figure out but now I am super excited. I have the first one yay!

    So as far as the reprints I posted about it looks like Murder in the Tower is number 3 and Three Crowns would be number 7. Very interesting.

    Oh Arleigh I can not wait to see the Captive Queen of Scots you put in the mail for me, I have been in love with that one for some time I love the green and her picture. I am going to have to buy all the other ones that match it before the reprints come out and the old ones disappear. I have not heard of the fair devil one though sounds kind of funny, but that is how I see her.

  14. I haven't read much if anything about Charles II so I should start with Plaidy. Glad you liked this one so much. I like how Plaidy explains things so well also.

  15. I know does she not just make sense? I have no more unanswered questions about Charles II.

  16. Great review of this trilogy. And interesting how Charles was defined by the women in his life. His reign has always been gold for novelists but now historians are taking an interest in his mistresses too. A few years ago I went to an exhibition of paintings of the women of Charles II's court at the National Portrait Gallery - fascinating.

  17. misadventuresofmoppet, Charles is fascinating and there is so much to him that is alluring in a bad boy kind of way. I love his personality, he makes for good reads. Witty, charismatic, and this book covers all of Charles. The whole series is written from the women in his life. It was a whopper of a read but I still can look at it and smile and remember that was a goooood read.

    I wish I could have see the Gallery it must have been a sight to behold. I think of all of Charles II mistresses that Nell is by far my favorite.


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