Jude Morgan breathes life into the glamour, catastrophes, wars and political conflict of Charles II's reign through the story of his son James's extraordinary rise from desperate illegitimacy to the dizzying heights of the Restoration Court.
Restored to the British throne in 1660 after years of exile, Charles II began a reign famous for dramatic events (the Plague, the Great Fire, the Dutch Wars), the flowering of science and the arts, and for notorious sexual liaisons. With a bevy of mistresses and flamboyantly addicted to high living, the Merry Monarch successfully presided over 'Merry Olde England' in an age of intrigue and religious dissent. When his tolerance extended to acknowledging his illegitimate son at court, James's life changed out of all recognition. This is the story of a remarkable man, and the spectacular upheavals and reverses of the time, told through the eyes of his illegitimate son, James, Duke of Monmouth.
'A fresh, fascinating and illuminating insight into the life of the Merry Monarch. Jude Morgan writes with style and understanding' Reay Tannahill
'[Jude Morgan] handles incredibly complicated political intrigues with great aplomb and [his] characters take on real flesh. Charles himself emerges so strongly as the complicated character he certainly was, and his relationship with his brother James is very skilfully portrayed...A remarkably smooth and satisfying read...Catches the atmosphere of the times without dodging the intensely serious background to all the sexual licence and scandal which is normally taken to characterise the era' Margaret Forster
'Conjuring up in extensive detail the politics, fears and licentious behaviour of the Restoration court...Morgan is careful to challenge the preconceptions of his historical characters... His skill is in bringing to life Jemmy's understandings of the deceitful atmosphere swirling around him' The Times
'If you love historical novels in the vein of Georgette Heyer and Dinah Lampitt then you won't be disappointed with Jude Morgan's latest novel...The story is vividly portrayed with lots of period colour...a gripping read' Devon Today
'Elegantly crafted and a joy to read...an impressive debut - imaginative and skilfully told' Historical Novels Review
'A comfortable and satisfying [read]' South Wales Argus
'This intricate novel does an excellent job of humanising the history and bringing it to life... For anyone wanting to look behind or just looking for a good yarn, you won't go far wrong with this book' Western Daily Press 28/6/03 - Western Daily Press