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A Health Unto His Majesty: (The Stuart saga: book 3): a vivid, dramatic and exciting tale of passion and plotting from the undisputed Queen of British historical fiction

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Historical romance at its very best: fans of Philippa Gregory will love this captivating journey back in time from multi-million copy and international bestselling author Jean Plaidy. 'Jean Plaidy conveys the texture of various patches of the past with such rich complexity' - Guardian 'These books are page-turners; they offer a wonderful way to learn about history... and the Historical romance at its very best: fans of Philippa Gregory will love this captivating journey back in time from multi-million copy and international bestselling author Jean Plaidy. 'Jean Plaidy conveys the texture of various patches of the past with such rich complexity' - Guardian 'These books are page-turners; they offer a wonderful way to learn about history... and their stories will remain with you for ever' -- Daily Express 'Every bit as exciting and moving today as they were when first written.' -- Woman & Home 'Unputdownable, educational and a great read' -- ***** Reader review 'Excellent as always!' -- ***** Reader review ******************************************************************** 1666: Charles II is rapturously welcomed back on the throne after years in exile. Needing funds he marries the wealthy Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza. But this is an unsuccessful match as the princess fails to provide him with an heir and the dowry never materializes. Although Charles always treats her with the utmost kindness, Catherine has to tolerate his many mistresses, notably the promiscuous beauty Barbara Castelmaine. The plot unfolds against a background of the Plague, the Popish Plot and the Great Fire of London where underlying religious tensions promise to cause problems for the King. When his Catholic brother, James, looks likely to succeed him, the people rise up against Catholics. Even Queen Catherine is in danger when she is accused of plotting to kill her husband. Will this restored monarchy be able to hold on to power?


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Historical romance at its very best: fans of Philippa Gregory will love this captivating journey back in time from multi-million copy and international bestselling author Jean Plaidy. 'Jean Plaidy conveys the texture of various patches of the past with such rich complexity' - Guardian 'These books are page-turners; they offer a wonderful way to learn about history... and the Historical romance at its very best: fans of Philippa Gregory will love this captivating journey back in time from multi-million copy and international bestselling author Jean Plaidy. 'Jean Plaidy conveys the texture of various patches of the past with such rich complexity' - Guardian 'These books are page-turners; they offer a wonderful way to learn about history... and their stories will remain with you for ever' -- Daily Express 'Every bit as exciting and moving today as they were when first written.' -- Woman & Home 'Unputdownable, educational and a great read' -- ***** Reader review 'Excellent as always!' -- ***** Reader review ******************************************************************** 1666: Charles II is rapturously welcomed back on the throne after years in exile. Needing funds he marries the wealthy Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza. But this is an unsuccessful match as the princess fails to provide him with an heir and the dowry never materializes. Although Charles always treats her with the utmost kindness, Catherine has to tolerate his many mistresses, notably the promiscuous beauty Barbara Castelmaine. The plot unfolds against a background of the Plague, the Popish Plot and the Great Fire of London where underlying religious tensions promise to cause problems for the King. When his Catholic brother, James, looks likely to succeed him, the people rise up against Catholics. Even Queen Catherine is in danger when she is accused of plotting to kill her husband. Will this restored monarchy be able to hold on to power?

56 review for A Health Unto His Majesty: (The Stuart saga: book 3): a vivid, dramatic and exciting tale of passion and plotting from the undisputed Queen of British historical fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Moody

    A Health Unto His Majesty is the story of Charles II, told mostly through his interactions with his wife, Catherine of Braganza, and his most famous mistress, Barbara Villiers. It begins with Charles triumphant return to England and the throne. The beginning of this book was very promising and I thought I was going to like it a lot. Barbara Villiers was portrayed as greedy, grasping and stupid - which made little sense to me. Every smart move that Barbara made was attributed to someone else's adv A Health Unto His Majesty is the story of Charles II, told mostly through his interactions with his wife, Catherine of Braganza, and his most famous mistress, Barbara Villiers. It begins with Charles triumphant return to England and the throne. The beginning of this book was very promising and I thought I was going to like it a lot. Barbara Villiers was portrayed as greedy, grasping and stupid - which made little sense to me. Every smart move that Barbara made was attributed to someone else's advice. Everything the king gave her was attributed to his wanting to be relieved of her whining, as opposed to any affection he might have had for her. Jean Plaidy quite obviously disliked Barbara, but I think she must also have disliked Charles Stuart, for having had a relationship with her! Catherine of Braganza's story started off interesting. I've not read much of her and I appreciated the back story of her childhood, her reading Charles letters, her interaction with her mother, her waiting for Sandwich to take her back to England. I was prepared to like Catherine. Her personality changed after she reached England, though. Her whininess and her sad, unrequited love for Charles were just irritating to read about. The middle of the book was slow for me, possibly because I already knew much of the story and thought it was told better by Susan Holloway Scott. The ending of the book, the Titus Oates drama, was so overly boring to me that I completely lost interest. The last 30 pages of this book left a sour taste in my mouth and ruined what affection I was still feeling for it by that point.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phil Syphe

    “A Health Unto His Majesty” opens with an over-detailed description of King Charles II returning to England after spending several years as a wandering exile. It takes a while before we get any drama, which is sadly in short supply throughout the novel, owing to too much “telling”, and little “showing”. The novel’s main focus is on Charles’s wife Catherine, his chief mistress Barbara. The women’s respective personalities are complete opposites. My sympathy was all with Catherine. I like the untypi “A Health Unto His Majesty” opens with an over-detailed description of King Charles II returning to England after spending several years as a wandering exile. It takes a while before we get any drama, which is sadly in short supply throughout the novel, owing to too much “telling”, and little “showing”. The novel’s main focus is on Charles’s wife Catherine, his chief mistress Barbara. The women’s respective personalities are complete opposites. My sympathy was all with Catherine. I like the untypical relationship between Charles and Catherine. The scenes that feature them together have the best drama elements in the novel. Those featuring Charles and Barbara feel too over the top to me, though other readers may well prefer these. Generally, the narrative is slow moving, partly because of the lack of action, and partly because of the consistent use of the passive voice. It’s dry information we get, rather than a lively story. The author uses a lot of reported speech, which she would’ve been better off changing to dialogue to bring the characters to life, rather than explain what they've said. When the story moves onto the plague of 1665, I hoped for more riveting scenes. I expected to see how this horrific experience affected the main characters. Sadly, the author switches to pure non-fiction mode. Instead of drama, action, and suspense, we get a summary of dry facts. Same thing happens when we come to the Great Fire of London. We see nothing of how this terrifying event makes the main characters feel. Instead, we get prose at its most passive: “Mr. Samuel Pepys, Secretary of the Navy, reached Whitehall and asked for an audience with the King; he told him all that was happening in the City, and begged him to give instant orders that houses be demolished, for only thus could such a mighty conflagration be brought to a halt. The King agreed that the houses which stood in the way of the fire must be pulled down.” After the fire, we get scenes that could’ve provided great drama and characterisation, but again, the author chooses reported speech and a dry summary: “It was true they had not been paid. The King would remedy that as soon as it were possible to do so. They had fought gallantly. Would they tell themselves that they had fought for their country, and would that suffice for a temporary reward? He promised them that they should be paid—in time.” Something about Jean Plaidy’s books keep me coming back for more. Perhaps it’s her love for English and French history, which I share, that draws me back. I wish she’d focused less on turning out as greater quantity of novels as possible and concentrated more on quality writing. A novel like this one should be revised about 20 times, yet this at best feels like a fifth draft.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    I actually read this before as part of the Charles II saga but it is also part of the Stuart Saga which I am now reading and wanted to read them all in order. I loved this book as I do practically with all Jean Plaidy's books. I actually read this before as part of the Charles II saga but it is also part of the Stuart Saga which I am now reading and wanted to read them all in order. I loved this book as I do practically with all Jean Plaidy's books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    KN F

    Good characters

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Fairly well done.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    A good historical fictionalised biography of King Charles II which I enjoyed very much

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Ellis

    Very entertaining novel based on Charles II's adventures as King following the Restoration. I knew he had mistresses but never had any idea how many!! (I gather even he lost count......) This is also a sweet but sad love story of Charles and his Queen Catherine of Braganza. Fascinating info about the plague epidemic followed by the Great Fire of 1666 and the disastrous war with the Dutch. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books! Very entertaining novel based on Charles II's adventures as King following the Restoration. I knew he had mistresses but never had any idea how many!! (I gather even he lost count......) This is also a sweet but sad love story of Charles and his Queen Catherine of Braganza. Fascinating info about the plague epidemic followed by the Great Fire of 1666 and the disastrous war with the Dutch. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara W

    Much better and more interesting than the first Charles II book by Plaidy. This one focuses on his mistress Barbara Palmer (Lady Castlemaine) and his wife Catherine of Braganza. The ending was rather abrupt however, so I'm waiting to see if the third book covers that part in greater detail. Charles II seems like a fascinating person, and I definitely want to read more about him. Much better and more interesting than the first Charles II book by Plaidy. This one focuses on his mistress Barbara Palmer (Lady Castlemaine) and his wife Catherine of Braganza. The ending was rather abrupt however, so I'm waiting to see if the third book covers that part in greater detail. Charles II seems like a fascinating person, and I definitely want to read more about him.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I read this book when I was 13 about, 40 years ago. Sometimes the books you like as a youngster don't always hold up when you read them again, but this one did. I read this book when I was 13 about, 40 years ago. Sometimes the books you like as a youngster don't always hold up when you read them again, but this one did.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Judy Diamond

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Butler

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Jolly

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  15. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Foley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  17. 4 out of 5

    Terri Edwards

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Murphy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura Bridger

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Louise Culmer

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zaineb Istrabadi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shara

  26. 4 out of 5

    ``Laurie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jule

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rose Dernoncourt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barb

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lainey

  32. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

  33. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Éowyn

  35. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

  38. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  40. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  41. 4 out of 5

    Southernbelle0326

  42. 5 out of 5

    Sumi

  43. 5 out of 5

    Lafang

  44. 4 out of 5

    Simone Ramone

  45. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

  46. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  47. 4 out of 5

    Connie

  48. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  49. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  50. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

  51. 4 out of 5

    Alison T

  52. 4 out of 5

    Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius

  53. 4 out of 5

    Bella

  54. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  55. 5 out of 5

    Laura Quilter

  56. 5 out of 5

    Katharine

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