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Not Familiar with Time Period .
I also love historical fiction. I admit I am not familiar with this time period. I have focused on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I . The start of this novel was slow but my interest increased as I read. Overall I would recommend this book for people interested in historical fiction. The political intrigue was fascinating !
For a first novel this was a good one. Some of my favorite authors have improved dramatically as they write. This was well written but I am not sure how believable some of it was, like a bedroom scene with Francis and Castlemaine. The author was very professional and included notes at the back to explain her point of view. That is a feature I much appreciate!
Girl on the Golden Coin
I called this book average because of all the time wasted in bedroom scenes. The author could have gotten to the important part of the story much sooner. I did not know the story of Frances Stuart and found this part of the book very interesting. So much is written about Henry VIII that the other Kings are overlooked.
More Fiction than History
I love historical fiction. What is more fun than reading about those scoundrel English kings! I do require a few things, however, in my fiction based on history. First, it needs to be historically accurate. Every piece of fiction has fictional characters but the majority should be real and the timeline should be as close to accurate as possible. Second, I need some background so I am not constantly looking up personnel on wiki. And please, no background from conversations between people that's not realistic. I don't mind some narrative. Lastly, I want to be so interested in the facts and the story that I am prompted to read more. This story of Frances Stuart had most of the requirements; true characters, a true timeline, a piece of history that I had never encountered before, a character I had never read about before. My one complaint was not enough background and too much conversation. But overall, an enjoyable read about lesser known English royalty
Jeanne W. (Columbia, MD)
History is confusing
Marci Jefferson's first effort at historical fiction tells the story of Frances Stuart, a maid of honor to King Charles II's wife and his reputed mistress for a time. Deployed by Henri XIV to encourage peaceful relations between England and France, Frances tries to accomplish this without alienating her family from royal favor. Scandals abound along with details of jewels and clothes. The book is light on details of relationships and politics, but a "cast of characters" in the beginning helps. Researching Frances and Charles II on your own will help more. If you like historical fiction you will probably like this book. If you prefer your history straight up this book won't sway you.
Phyllis R. (Rochester Hills, MI)
La Belle Stuart and the Merry Monarch
If you like British historical fiction, "Girl on the Golden Coin' is highly recommended. The "girl" is Frances Stuart, one of many mistresses to King Charles II. (1661-1685) The "coin" is a copper farthing minted in 1673 in which "La Belle Stuart" is engraved on one side by Rottier and the "Merry Monarch" on the other.
Carol N. (Indian Springs Village, AL)
History as so-so fiction
The novel is set in Paris in the court of Louis XIV and moves to London where rumors of war, the Plague, Great Fire of 1666 and many trysts and intrigues are chronicled. The author gives a list of characters at the front of the book which is most helpful for the reader to decipher the royal relationship.
Frances Stuart kept her virtue and virginity above playing politics and eventually became Duchess of Richmond and Lennox. Each chapter begins with a poem or quotation exhorting her beauty and cunning.
Author Marcie Jefferson has done extensive research using letters, diaries, and memoirs so one learns about fashion, hairstyles, architecture, and food during the Restoration. And that is why I like historical fiction!
I love historical fiction and that is my choice to read most of the time. I had such hopes for this book and while it did provide some historical information, mostly it read as a romance novel. It could have used less characters and have more detail on the few that were most relevant. When I saw the list of characters at the front of the book I was concerned that this would be the case. I wish I had liked this book more than I did.
Gwen C. (Clearfield, PA)
Girl on the Golden Coin
Marci Jefferson's historical fiction centers on beautiful Francis Stuart, known as "La Belle," and her remarkable love life, which impacted 2 kings and influenced the course of history. This book offers something for everyone. History buffs will appreciate the close examination of the Restoration and King Charles II and his political decisions and problems with Parliament, while dealing with major religious zealots, the plague, the great fire of London, destruction of the Navy, and a smallpox epidemic. Romance seekers will have enough pages to enthrall (and occasionally cause a blush). As the story unfolds, one is swept from France to England, castle-to-castle, and confronted with various intrigues and alliances.. Who to trust? What does Frances really want? Is she a pawn or her own person?
I greatly appreciated the Dramatis Personae listing at the beginning of the book, and the helpful chapter headings and quotes as I plunged back in time. All in all, a most satisfying read!