|From: ForeverAmber (Original Message)||Sent: 7/20/2007 7:06 AM|
The Winter Prince by Cheryl Sawyer is the absolute saddest true love story FA has ever read Tis set in the earliest days of the English Civil War circa early 1640s. The prince in the title is Rupert of the Rhine . He's the nephew of the unfortunate Charles I who became separated from his head by an act of Parliament a few more years down the road in this conflict. His mother is Charles's older sister Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, whom for all you good royal begatters is whence the Hanoverian line of England sprung once there was a dearth if Stuart heirs. Winter is because Elizabeth & her hubby (whose name doth escape me atm) were invited to plop onto the vacant Bohemian throne. There was Bohemian unrest (tho not rhapsodies LOL couldn't resist that) & they ended up only reigning for the winter as they were run out so Elizabeth was known as the Winter Queen hence Rupert being the Winter Prince.
Anyway, FA digresses as she is wont to do. Rupert is a six foot four dreamboat of a warrior prince who came by to be Charles's general as Charles alas was never the smartest king in the palace His love interest is Mary Villiers, Duchess of Richmond, who is the daughter of the late and unlamented George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham if you recall was James I's favorite nancy boy ROFL & he got assassinated for his bad influence over the king.
Anyway, Mary is brought up at Court as sort of Charles's foster daughter & was married off at the tender age of 13 Her first husband died after a year & then she married one of Charles's cousins, James Stuart, Duke of Richmond, at the age of 15.
5 years later is when she & Rupert meet up & fall totally, madly, irrevocably in love. Only as mentioned Mary is married & her hubby is Rupert's best friend There's wrenching denial there's bad poetry there's secret meetings there's stolen kisses there's espionage there's battles there's those pocky Roundhead Puritans printing scurrilous broadsheets publicly pilloring them for gettin it on only there was denial so they ain't which just makes it worse
This book is just one sad thing after the other & tis all true so tis even sadder Poor Rupert was so in love with Mary that he never did get married himself even
Recommended for Civil War buffs as the war stuf is very well done/researched Also recommended if you felt suicidal after reading Wuthering Heights because this will make you depressed as well Tis really very well written & not at all tedious in pacing nor excessive in any way in bodice-ripping. Tis not that sort of romance.
I haven't said anything here for ages - so long in fact I'm surprsied not to have been kicked off :) Partly, I had msn and then email problems. However, I do read all the posts! And felt suddenly moved to reply to this one, since this used to be my favourite period in history, and Rupert one of my long-standing heroes.
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll definitely look this book up! Have you read Margaret Irwin's "The Stranger Prince"? It's a wonderful historical novel too on teh same theme. In fact, it's part of a series where you can also catch up with his sister Louise and his fellow-hero Montrose :)
Incidentally, although Rupert and Mary could have married later on in life, they never did. Too much water under the bridge maybe? Rupert himself married "morganatically" twice after the Restoration - to English actresses, I think though I can't quite recall - and had a daughter by one of them called Ruperta :)
waving hello to everyone after a long absence!
Hiya Jean LTNS Yes, the author's note at the end said that after Richmond died Mary married one of the Howards.
Was off to Amazon.com to look at this book - and always checking out the other books recommended led me to "Royal Harlot" by Susan Holloway Scott (about Barbara Castelmaine & Charles II), which then led me to "An Unchaste Life: Memoir of a Tudor Queen" by Anne Cato - a novel about Katherine Howard! The customer reviewer closes with 'a fascinating look at medieval times when livestock received better treatment than people and one man held the lives of millions in his diesase-ridden hands' rofl!
Anyone heard of these other books?
I thought that author sounded familiar.....FA read her book Duchess HERE. Susan Holloway Scott website is HERE with info on the Castlemaine novel