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Saturday, April 14, 2007


**** Duchess: a Novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott. Historical fiction.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I know very little about history, so I really have nothing to say about whether this book is historically accurate or not. For me, that's beside the point. Bad reader, I know, particularly when it's a fictionalized biography of an actual historical figure, but I'm trying to be honest here.

So when I started reading this, I knew nothing about Sarah Churchill, which also means I had no preconceived ideas about her. It follows her life from the time she arrives in court as a young girl attending Princess Anne.

She quickly becomes very adept at court life--politics and intrigue and knowing who to cultivate and who to snub, and most importantly, she avoids becoming a casualty of court life--a mistress of the king or some other powerful man.

She falls in love with John Churchill, who's very much like her with a similar non-wealthy background and very politically astute. She holds out for marriage, while he's determined to marry for wealth and have Sarah as a mistress.

The book tells of her fluctuating political fortunes, tied to those of Princess Anne, and I found it just fascinating, particularly because it doesn't just give a list of events, but the thoughts and emotions motivating them. It also paints a very vivid picture of court life at the time.

So I've been entertained, and learned a little about British history in the process. And if historical scholars have different interpretations of the personalities and events in the book, I'm sorry, but I just can't bring myself to get too worried about it.


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I bought this not too long ago! Haven't got to read it yet though!
I read this one a while back and was fascinated; went off to Amazon and found a biography of John Churchill. And it prompted me to dig out my copy of the biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire...which I haven't finished yet.
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