The Perfect Royal Mistress by Diane Haeger
A Novel

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Brava to Ms. Haeger for a rousing depiction of Restoration England, and for bringing to life a plucky young woman who through wit and tempered ambition rises far above her station.
-Historical Novel Society

Synopsis

Born into poverty and raised in a brothel, Nell Gwynne sells oranges in the pit
at London’s King’s Theater, newly reopened after the plague and the Great
Fire devastated the city. Soon, her quick sense of humor and natural charm
get her noticed by those who have the means to make her life easier. But the street-smart Nell knows a woman doesn’t get ahead by selling her body. Through talent, charm, intelligence, and sheer determination—as well as a keen understanding of how the world operates—Nell works her way out of the pit and onto the stage to become the leading comedic actress of the day. Her skills and beauty quickly win the attention of all of London—eventually even catching the eye of King Charles II. Their attraction is as real as it is unlikely, and the scrappy orange girl with the pretty face and the quick wit soon finds herself plunged into the
confusing and dangerous world of the court, where she learns there are few she can trust—and many whom she cannot turn her back on.
From the gritty streets of seventeenth-century London, to the backstage glamour of its theaters, to the glittering court of Charles II, The Perfect Royal Mistress is a love story for the ages, the rags-to-riches tale of a truly remarkable heroine.
 

About Diane Haeger

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DIANE HAEGER is also the author of The Ruby Ring, Courtesan, and The Secret Wife of George IV. She lives in California.
 
Published February 27, 2007 by Crown. 418 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Historical Novel Society

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Reviewed by Lisa Ann Verge on May 01 2007

Brava to Ms. Haeger for a rousing depiction of Restoration England, and for bringing to life a plucky young woman who through wit and tempered ambition rises far above her station.

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