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THE COUNTESS AND THE KING
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, England
Known for her fictionalized biographies of naughty, bawdy Restoration-era women it is no wonder that Scott chose the mistress of James II, brother of Charles II, as the heroine of her latest work. This is a story of a woman who followed her heart. Through glittering descriptions of 17th-century England, Katherine comes to vibrant life. This is what historical biographies should do.
Katherine Sedley was born to be bad. The daughter of known libertine and a deranged mother (who believed she was the queen), she arrives at the palace as lady in waiting, ready and willing to participate in all the glory of Charles II’s court. However, it is no handsome courtier who captures her attention, but Charles’ younger brother, the Duke of York. He is smitten by the witty Katherine and they become lovers. Life is good until Charles dies and James ascends the throne. Now a Catholic, a man not quite ready to rule, heads England and Katherine is caught up in the intrigues and problems that arise, forcing her to make a difficult choice. (NAL, Sep., 400 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: September 2010