It is time for this great love to be tested But is anything strong enough to face the cries of heresy If you will be a great man s mistress you must pay the price 1372 The Savoy Widow Lady Katherine de Swynford presents herself for a role in the household of merciless royal prince, John Plantagenet, Duke of Lancaster, hoping to end her destitution But the Duke s sIt is time for this great love to be tested But is anything strong enough to face the cries of heresy If you will be a great man s mistress you must pay the price 1372 The Savoy Widow Lady Katherine de Swynford presents herself for a role in the household of merciless royal prince, John Plantagenet, Duke of Lancaster, hoping to end her destitution But the Duke s scandalous proposition leaves her life of pious integrity reelingSeduced by the glare of royal adoration, Katherine becomes John s mistress She will leave behind everything she has stood for to play second fiddle to his young wife and ruthless ambition She will live in the shadows of the most powerful man in England in the hope of a love greater than propriety But soon the court whispers whore, harlot, vile temptress reach the ears of not just John s young bride but his most dangerous political enemies As the Plantagenet prince is accused of bringing England to its knees who better to blame than shameless she devil Katherine de Swynford Dragged from the shadows, Katherine must now answer for her sins
The Scandalous Duchess It is time for this great love to be tested But is anything strong enough to face the cries of heresy If you will be a great man s mistress you must pay the price The Savoy Widow Lady Katherine d
There are few things we know about Katherine Swynford, the Duchess of Lancaster. Married at sixteen to "Hugh" Ottes Swynford, a Knight from the manor of Kettlethorpe in Lincolnshire. It would be after his death with her time spent John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, first as his lover and then after the death of John's second wife Infanta Constance of Castile, as a married couple that would be the focus of the novel.Written from Katherine's thoughts, we the reader as swept along with the forbidden [...]
Unlike many court dramas, THE SCANDALOUS DUCHESS is focused almost wholly on its female protagonist, Katherine Swynford, and the matters of her heart rather than on politics and royal intrigue, an important point of difference from other such books. The story mentions political events only in as much as they have an impact on Katherine's personal life. She is a woman completely lacking in political ambition, and this story is a romantic and domestic drama, nothing more - which does not mean that [...]
I came to this novel with very low expectations. I felt surprisingly indignant that another author had tried to 'remake' Katherine and The Scandalous Duchess' format was not designed to quell my concerns. The cover features a model with an obviously twenty-first century blonde dye job and within the first three pages, I spotted three typos - dairy maids became diary maids, instead of poring over books, the Duke poured over them. Additionally, all the way through, there was a problem with the typ [...]
Royal scandals are not confined to the current history of bare-bottomed princes and topless brides; they have been with us since royalty began; and the love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt was the hugest scandal of Plantagenet era. In a world where sin was blamed for every little thing that went wrong, Katherine and John were sitting ducks to be attributed the blame of all the kingdom’s ills. There were a lot of ills too – the Black Death, The Peasants Revolt and the fail [...]
The book had a beginning that wasn’t too bad, despite 20% of it being too much UST (unresolved sexual tension) between the main characters all along. In the end, though, the story in 1st person started to falter, focusing overmuch on the romance and the inner emotions over a good plot, combined with a so-so writing. I also really failed to feel the characters were Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt as we knew them from history.If you read Anya Seton's Katherine and loved it, or are intereste [...]
I haven’t read any other Anne O’Brien books, so I have no basis for comparison against other works. I’m personally not a fan of first-person POV for actual historical people, either, but I gave it a chance because of the subject matter.Unfortunately, because of the focus is so astonishingly heavy on the addictive love aspect that these two characters share and little else (romance does not have to be constant gush in my humble opinion, and certainly not almost every single scene) it caused [...]
First off I would like to recommend that you don't embark upon this novel if you know you're going to spend every second comparing it to Anya Seton's "Katherine". It would be entirely unfair do to this as "Katherine" is one of the most magnificent historical fiction books ever written and it's unlikely to be matched. That being said, I enjoyed this novel by Anne O'Brien and found favor in how she chose to write her novel based upon the love affair of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. This is [...]
3 stars is a little generous.I have read several by this author now and they are mildly diverting but not outstandingly historical. I do take the point that not a lot is known etc but others have done well on just as little to go on. The outstanding thing that struck me reading this is that all this author's heroines (they are more romances than HF really) are alike; they could almost be the same character - and they are all prone to a bit of hysterically misunderstanding and angry blaming. I ho [...]
Thank you to the author/publisher for the advance reading copy.If you will be a great man’s mistress you must pay the price…1372, The Savoy. Widow Lady Katherine Swynford presents herself for a role in the household of merciless royal prince John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, hoping to end her destitution. But the Duke’s scandalous proposition leaves her life of pious integrity reeling…Right so first of all I should be clear – I’m not great at History, and I do not read many historica [...]
This is going to be the most complex review that I think I have written. As complex as the scandalous affair between a duke and a young widowOkay so, the first 200 pages were the longest and most painful of my life and I very,verynearly gave up on reading it. "I want you!""But it'ssucha sin!""I know but still?""Well I would, but you know sins and all that"To-ing and fro-ing like a medieval boat travelling to Aquitaine.Regardless I stuck with it, like a young widow with hertwithero of a Duke.Afte [...]
Even though it may not be fair, it is impossible for me to think about this book without comparing it to Anya Seton's Katherine, which is one of my favourite books ever. That is also the reason why I simply had to read this book when I stumbled upon it in the library - how could I resist reading another take of the captivating love affair between Katherine and John, even though I had reservations from the beginning because I knew it could not be nearly as wonderful as Seton's novel. Without this [...]
Firstly I’d like to thank ED PR for sending me this book to read and give an honest review. I previously read and very much enjoyed The Forbidden Queen (review on my blog) by the same author so I was really keen to get started on this one!The prologue introduced me to Katherine and the unfortunate situation she found herself in. Katherine seemed like a strong, interesting woman and I was immediately drawn in by her. When the Duke’s proposition came along a short while later I found that it w [...]
I have to admit that I do enjoy Anne O'Brien as a writer of historical fiction. Maybe it's not great literature, but it's still an enjoyable ready and she actually makes a first person narrative come off, whereas with some other authors it sounds unnatural or is handled clumsily.O'Brien's latest offering gives us the tale of Katherine de Swynford (nee de Roet), famous (or perhaps infamous!) as the mistress and later wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (and if you didn't know that he marries [...]
I started reading this book with some trepidation as Anya Seton's KATHERINE was the book that started me on a lifelong obsession with historical novels - and I have eventually ended up writing them myself. I didn't like the over glamorous cover design! At first I felt uncertain - the book was very easy to read and romantic - starting straight into the Katherine Swynford/John of Gaunt relationship with very little build up, but the more I continued, the more I found that the remarkable historical [...]
I think any author writing a novel about Katherine Swynford has a hard row to hoe. The quintessential historical novel about this enigmatic and historically important lady has to be Anya Seton’s ‘Katherine’ and for many readers any other novels about her are going to be measured against this classic and found wanting. Unfortunately this new novel featuring Katherine falls into this category.If you haven’t read ‘Katherine’ then you will probably enjoy this romanticised version of what [...]
An extremely slow-burn book that seemed to reach its point by about a third of the way through; so I didn't really see where else it had to go. It dragged on and on. Luckily I was reading it during a period where I had time for slow Sunday reading; otherwise I might have abandoned it. Pretty mushy and overly flowery in some parts, with bland characters that never seemed fully formed or layered. Overall nothing offensive but nothing of great interest either.
Solid and enjoyable effort from Anne O'Brien however for me, it didn't quite live up to the first one I read of hers - The King's Concubine. Where Alice Perrers was a wickedly multi-faceted protagonist, Katherine Swynford just felt weak and inspid in comparison. However it was still an engaging read and, in the end, a beautiful love story.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, although it did get off to a slow start. O'Brien's tale of the relationship between John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford is a beautifully written love story, that I found quite refreshing in comparison to many novels from the same genre.
Always interesting to read the back story of the Tudors a fascinating family. This author never disappoints.
Great.I really enjoyed this book, loved the character's and enjoyed the fact that it wasn't graphic sex but an actual love story.
Gave up halfway. I've enjoyed other books by the author but this one's not for me.
Unfortunately I found this book a disappointing readThe author was focused over much on the inner turmoil -conflicting emotions and pangs of conscience ( which is strange because she made her own bed and was with him for over 25 years) and romance (is not even steamy-there was zero indication she was in love with John until all of a sudden she was head of heels)over a good plot. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over (I have no idea why it had to be stretched). Katherine was most [...]
Previously this year I read 'The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster', by Alison Weir. EXCELLENT non fiction giving all known facts & documents in existence of the great love match between Katherine & John. Fascinating story. I don't usually read 'this type of book' (The Scandalous Duchess), but was intrigued when I found this book in a charity shop, turned it over and saw it is about Lady Katherine Swynford. Wanting to know more, I paid very little and brought it home to si [...]
Oh my life, what a ride!I couldn't put this down from the first to the last page. The review said she rivalled Philipa Gregory and she does.Well researched, beautifully crafted and written. My joy of reading this glorious novel was only clouded by the fact that I thought I could never write as well as she can, so I ought to give up trying. That feeling didn't last too long I hasten to add, and as ever, these things always come to improve you.Love her writing and looking forward to reading more o [...]
I remember walking out of the theater the night I went to see Keira Knightley's version of Pride and Prejudice and thinking, "That is just a good story". No matter how many times it's been told, there is just something satisfying in the telling of it.As far as I'm concerned, the same goes for the true story of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. However, Anya Seton's novel Katherine is considered such a classic, I think it's scared away some other historical fiction authors who might have been [...]
Favourite QuotesI should warn you that it will be my life's quest to win you for my own- John. Will God punish us for snatching at happiness in a world that brings a woman precious little of it? - Katherine.I saw you in my audience chamber and I wanted you. you know that. I wanted you to be mine. I still do, and I won't let you go. You were made to belong to me. It is my right to claim you. - JohnAlways Know, even hen we apart,when time does not allow me to touch your thoughts over the miles tha [...]
One of the greatest love stories, the 25 year affair and eventual marriage of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, younger son of King Edward III. The story isn't new to me, I read the classic, Anya Seton's Katherine quite a few years ago and was excited to read Anne O'Brien's take on things. There's little documented of Katherine which offers an author quite a bit of freedom but Anne O'Brien grounds this fictionalised story firmly in historical events; The Black Death, the P [...]
I was a little unsure whether I liked this book or not. The writing was fine, the subject matter was fine and it was not hardgoing in any sense but something about it just made me feel like it was becoming a bit of a chore to read by the end.Maybe it was down to the fact that the main character Katherine seemed so jumpy - in the sense that one minute she is all holier than thou and caring abut the feelings of others and the next minute she is actually quite a harsh , unforgiving character. I can [...]
An impoverished widow Lady Katherine Swynford seeks employment with the Duke of Lancaster John of Gaunt. She had been raised by his mother and served his first wife Blanche as a damsel until her death. She is shocked that instead of being offered a place as damsel to his new wife Constanza or in the ducal nurseries he wants her to be his mistress. This goes against all her beliefs so she flees back to son's estates.Dire need forces her to risk being compromised by finally accepting a place assis [...]
The quote on the book cover from THE SUN says "Outdoes even Philippa Gregory." Well, not so.Although I've enjoyed several of Anne O'Brien's historical novels, this one left me wanting. The story itself, of John of Gaunt's great passion for Lady Katherine Swynford (ancestors of the Tudor line of Kings), is a good one. Katherine begins as John's mistress while he is married to other high-born heiresses and she bears him four illegitimate children. Eventually John makes Katherine his third wife and [...]