This is a very well written fictional biography of Sarah Jennings, a very intelligent and strong willed woman who rose from a childhood lived on the charity of the crown to be a Duchess who, for many years, was a strong political factor in Stuart England. Holloway Scott allows herself enough identification with Jennings so as to portray her life as she herself must have viewed it - yet at the same time retains a certain amount of separation so that we may glimple the underlying text which reveals Jennings' flaws and errors.
The book will satisfy those of us who are sticklers for historical accuracy while presenting a fascinating read. Jennings' life was exciting enough that embellishments are little needed, and Scott's presentations of what may have been intimate moments shared between Jennings and those in her life ring true. Characters do not appear portrayed in anachronistic attitudes, which is a relief compared to the metre of too much of todays' contemporary biographical fiction.
Readers will leave the book feeling quite satisfied with the book and filled with desire to read more of Scott's work.
Trite, redundant and boring. This is probably one of the worst books I have ever read.
Scott repeats herself continually throughout the novel, as if her reader would not remember what happened just three chapters before.
Sarah Churchill is shown as headstrong and independent juxtaposed against whiny and jealous behavior. Not a likeable (even if real) character at all. She needed to be one or the other, not both.
Churchill's lesbian relationship with Princess Anne is not believable and something I think Scott just put into the mix to maybe keep the reader's attention.
Unfortunately, my mind is not any better for reading this book.
Overall, I would not reccommend this book all. 1/2 star out of 5. It's that bad.
This is a historical novel based on the life of Sarah Churchill - an ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. What a well-written story of a strong, willful, independent woman.
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 whos 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.
Superb book! Ms. Holloway Scott is a great story teller. I will definitely be reading more of her works.