Category Archives: 17th Century

review: The Courtier’s Secret

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The Courtier’s Secret by Donna Russo Morin Jeanne du Bois is the daughter of a minor noble in the court of Louis XIV. Fresh from convent school, she feels very out of place among the sycophants of Versailles. Her father, always scheming to find a way to further his position, plans to use Jeanne as a marriage pawn no matter… Read more »

review: Dark Angels

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Dark Angels by Karleen Koen When her affianced suddenly married one of her closest friends, lady-in-waiting Alice Verney traveled to France to serve Charles II’s sister, Henriette–married toMonsieur, Louis XIV’s brother, and known asMadame in the French court. Leaving Queen Catherine and her homeland, she found great consolation in waiting upon her new mistress, but even this was soon to… Read more »

review: Before Versailles

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Before Versailles by Karleen Koen Louis XIV is a young king on the cusp of power when Cardinal Mazarin dies, leaving the realm in the hands of Nicholas Fouquet and other trusted ministers. Louis was changing from inexperienced and naive to a man his musketeers deemed a worthy king. We see his fumbled attempts at courting his brother’s wife and… Read more »

review: Rochester, the Mad Earl

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Rochester, the Mad Earl by Kathleen Kellow The adventures and exploits of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, are resurrected in this 1957 novel by Jean Plaidy, under one of her lesser-known pseudonyms—Kathleen Kellow. Rochester’s father, Henry Wilmot, was responsible for cutting the Roundhead-pursued Charles II’s curls, helping him escape the country incognito during Cromwell’s rule. The 1st Earl of… Read more »

review: The Countess

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The Countess by Rebecca Johns One would expect a novel on the life of Erzsebet Bathory to lean toward the horror genre of literature, but this surprisingly sympathetic retelling of her life is anything but gory and cringe-worthy. Starting out with a letter from her priest-jailor at the end of her life, in which she is being held captive in… Read more »