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Duchess: A Novel of Sarah Churchill

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Overview

London:1673. With her family ruined by war, penniless thirteen-year-old Sarah Jennings is overjoyed to be chosen as a maid of honor at the bawdy Restoration court of Charles II. She soon wins the trust of Lady Anne of York, a lonely princess who becomes one of her staunchest allies. And though Sarah’s beauty stirs the desires of jaded aristocrats, she wants a grander future for herself than that of a pampered mistress. Only one man possesses ambition and passions that match her own: John Churchill, a dashing ...

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Overview

London:1673. With her family ruined by war, penniless thirteen-year-old Sarah Jennings is overjoyed to be chosen as a maid of honor at the bawdy Restoration court of Charles II. She soon wins the trust of Lady Anne of York, a lonely princess who becomes one of her staunchest allies. And though Sarah’s beauty stirs the desires of jaded aristocrats, she wants a grander future for herself than that of a pampered mistress. Only one man possesses ambition and passions that match her own: John Churchill, a dashing young military hero. He would ask for her hand—and win her heart for a lifetime….

But Whitehall Palace is ripe with ever-shifting alliances and sexual scandal, and Sarah will need all her cleverness to succeed. Titles, power, and wealth are the prizes, while an idle whisper in the wrong ear can bring a cry of treason, and the executioner’s ax. Will Sarah’s loyalties––and her dreams––falter when a king is toppled from his throne and a new queen crowned? And will she dare risk everything when her one true love is tested by a passionate, dangerous obsession?   
 
Brimming with the intrigue and sensuality of one of history’s most decadent courts, Duchess brings to vivid life the story of an unforgettable woman who determines her own destiny––outspoken, outrageous, but most of all true to herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sarah Jennings's ascent from poverty as a 13-year-old to the highest echelons of late 17th- and early 18th-century English society has all the trappings of supermarket tabloids: intrigue, treachery, deceit and sexual scandals. In this first-person telling, Scott takes a near-scholarly approach but maintains the thrills as Sarah and her equally ambitious husband, John Churchill, risk charges of treason (and thus, their necks) to ensure the crown for Anne Stuart. Sarah and John become the ultimate power couple: she gets her way, her riches and her title nearly without sacrificing her own principles, while John, despite his personal ambition, seeks the best for his family and country, becoming England's greatest military hero. If each is a bit too good to be true, that is a hazard of the first person and is easy to overlook with two such interesting and able characters. That Sarah is an ancestor of both Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Spencer gives this novel appeal to several generations of historical fiction readers. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
To some, being maid of honor to the heir's wife might seem like the ultimate in luxury and influence. For Sarah Jennings, whose family has been left penniless by war, it is the very opposite of a secure and comfortable position. Instead, she and her beloved John Churchill struggle to weather the political and religious storms that wash over the household of James II of England. These two commoners, who rose to become the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, know the tenuous and dangerous nature of such seeming security and how far the fall from favor can be. Prolific historical novelist Scott's elegantly crafted story of two charismatic soul mates who gave up the chance to marry others, preferring wealth and advancement, is sure to appeal to lovers of good historical fiction. Cynthia Johnson, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641865640
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Holloway Scott is the author of more than thirty historical novels and a graduate of Brown University.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    INTERESTING HISTORICAL FICTION

    Sarah Churchill is not always a likable character but she certainly was an interesting and unique character. This book is well-reseached and, though we only get Sarah's point of view, it shows us a bit of life under Charles II, James II and Anne Stuart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    beautifully written

    wonderful!!! once you read this, you will want to read all of the author's other novels and will be left wanting more!

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