Posted in 17th Century Author Guest Post

Susan Holloway Scott: The Mad Earl, John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647-1680) appears in all four of my royal mistress books. To some of these ladies, he was an annoying gadfly, and to others, a devoted, amusing friend. To Katherine Sedley, the heroine of The Countess and the King, he was the kind, droll friend of her father. Either way, he was undeniably one of the most unforgettable and most tragic figures of Charles II’s Restoration court. Rochester’s father, Henry Wilmot, was a royalist officer in the army who earned his earldom by helping the soon-to-be Charles II escape Parliamentary forces. Though Henry died in the future king’s service, Charles remembered his loyalty, and always regarded his son with almost filial devotion. But the boy had gifts beyond the king’s favor….

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Posted in 17th Century Restoration Reviews

review: The Countess and the King

The Countess and the King by Susan Holloway Scott Katherine Sedley is not a well-known name even among history lovers, but a closer look reveals a lady of wit who had the ironic position of being the Catholic King James II’s Protestant mistress. Because her mother was emotionally unstable, Katherine was raised by servants and began accompanying her father, Sir Charles Sedley, at an early age to places not quite suitable for her years. That he was a debauched, self-proclaimed poet with lecherous friends encouraged Katherine’s already quick retort and feisty tongue, making her into an enigma: a lady of quality with a serving girl’s manners (it’s no wonder she fast became friends with Nell Gwyn). Lacking standard court beauty, Katherine set herself apart with…

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