Book Review: Duchess A novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott

A historical novel based on the life of the lady-in-waiting who helped bring James II to the throne of England.

Brimming with the intrigue and sensuality of one of history’s most decadent courts, Duchess brings to vivid life the story of an unforgettable woman who determines her own destiny-outspoken, outrageous, but most of all true to herself and her heart.

In 1673, as a penniless twelve-year-old, Sarah Jennings arrived at the bawdy Restoration Court of Charles II. Armed with a potent combination of charm, beauty, and intelligence, she prospered. Not only did Sarah win the trust of the future Queen Anne, but she managed to protect her virtue and reputation, marrying the one man as ambitious as she was: the dashing young soldier John Churchill. Over the next forty years, Sarah would amass an immense personal fortune, help make her husband a national hero, and help bring a new king to the throne.

My first thought in this review is once again this book did not take me so long to complete because I didn’t like it but purely I started reading it while starting a new job, and working on a move. Bad timing to read any book to be sure.

Duchess is a good account and tail of Sarah Churchill; many may ask well who is Sarah Churchill? Well that is a fantastic question; Sarah Churchill was a relatively commonly born girl who went into the service of the Duchess Mary Beatrice, whose husband was Duke James who became the deposed King James. For a more modern who’s who Sarah Churchill is the great great etc. Grandmother of Sir Winston Churchill.

This book is full of the things you would expect to find at court, intrigue, back biting, gossip rumors love and war. It is a fantastic following of this family rises and falls through their time in trying to better their circumstances by playing the courtly games and working hard. Susan Holloway Scott once again delivers a fantastic novel of historical play. Is it 100% accurate no, but then no work of fiction is. It is however as accurate as it is going to get and a good read. This one goes on my must read list.

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