The King’s Favorite: The Interview, Part Two

Kingsfavorite An Interview with Wench Susan Holloway Scott by Wench Loretta Chase

Welcome to Part Two of our interview with Susan Holloway Scott.  We’re celebrating the release of her new historical novel, THE KING’S FAVORITE –and I’m delighted to report that the book is already appearing in stores–great news for all who’ve been waiting not very patiently for Nell Gwyn’s story.

For a tantalizing taste, you can read an excerpt from The King’s Favorite at Susan’s web site.  And do visit Facebook, where not only does Susan have a brand-new page,
but so does Nell Gwyn herself.  Stop by and become a friend to both of them.

And don’t forget:  Susan will be giving away an autographed copy of The King’s Favorite to a reader who posts a comment or question to this interview.

Loretta: King Charles II plays, as a monarch ought to do, a major role in both Royal Harlot and The King’s Favorite. But we see a different Charles in this book.  Did you find him more or less sympathetic in the context of his relationship with Nell?

Susan: This has been one of the most fascinating parts of writing this series of books:Barbara_2 the same hero, but viewed through the very different perspective of each heroine.  The Charles Stuart in Royal Harlot loved Barbara Villiers Palmer, Lady Castlemaine (another beautiful woman who relished the spotlight of celebrity, shown to the right) almost as an equal.  They were cousins, and she was undeniably a lady, and even at the rancorous end of their long relationship, he always treated her with the courtesy and generosity due her rank. 

But though Charles loved Nell, too, and regarded her as one of his dearest friends, he could not quite forget her humble origins.  While he gave her several houses and a handsome income, he never granted her the same titles or livings that he gave to his other long-term mistresses, and his casual disregard for her feelings is as troubling as Nell’s constant forgiveness of his slights towards her.  Theirs is undeniably a love story between friends, a fairy tale romance between king and commoner, but it’s also sadly a love story where the hero does not always behave as heroically as he should. 

Loretta: So while Nell’s name was the last on the dying king’s lips, he did not provide very well for her.  How do you account for this?

Oval_charles Susan: I wish I could!  Actually, there is documentation that Charles had planned finally to give Nell her long-deferred title as a birthday present, a plan thwarted by his own untimely death.   Always robustly healthy and athletic, he was stricken one night by a series of debilitating strokes, and thanks to the over-zealous bleeding,  purging, and other rigorous attentions of 17th century medicine, died soon after, with no chance to right any of his wrongs to Nell.  I think it was more his characteristic procrastination rather than any willful neglect. His dying words were in fact a plea to his brother James “not to let poor Nellie starve”, but James had other plans on his royal agenda beyond looking after his dead brother’s old mistresses.  (James was especially cruel in forbidding Nell from Charles’s deathbed, claiming that she’d no right to say farewell to the dying king because she had no title.) Nell didn’t starve, but as soon as Charles’s protection was gone and her income with it, creditors swooped down to claim most of her wealth.  When she died soon after Charles in 1687, she left considerable debts –– but also a generous legacy to the prisoners in Newgate.

Loretta: Did your research for Nell show you any aspects of the king’s character you might not haveRed_dress_nell previously considered?

Susan: By the time Charles became seriously involved with Nell (another portrait of her is to the right) in 1668, the first glorious optimism of his early reign had faded.  He was faced with the genuine challenges of a difficult Parliament, lack of funds, a country ravaged by plague and a capital struggling to recover from the Great Fire, as well as the constant danger of war with France and the Dutch.  Despite being called “the Merrie Monarch”, Charles was often plagued with melancholy (what we’d now call depression.)  Nell’s high spirits and ability to amuse him were exactly what the darker side of his personality needed. 

Loretta: You’ve mentioned on the blog and in our conversations the Victorians’ partiality for Nell.  What about her appealed to that straitlaced, hypocritical lot?

Victorian_nellcharles_2 Susan: Every generation interprets the past to suit themselves.  The Victorians adored the 17th century, romanticizing Charles I’s doomed cavaliers and Charles II’s Court of wits and gallants and beautiful ladies in plumed hats as if they’d been created by Sir Walter Scott, and glossing over the harsher realities of the Restoration.  Scenes from this sentimentalized version of the Restoration were great favorites of Victorian painters as well, such as this one after Edward Matthew Ward, of Nell improbably directing the king in the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire  Nell’s doll-like beauty appealed to the Victorians, and they fashioned her into a classic fallen-woman-with-a-heart-of-gold, praising her loyalty to Charles and her generosity to the poor, and making her into such a plucky Magdalene that I suspect the real, more earthy Nell would scarcely recognize herself. By all reports, Nell enjoyed the material rewards of her position as much as any of the other royal mistresses, and was especially proud of her elaborate, over-sized bedstead, featuring portraits of her and Charles, their two sons as cupids, and even her rival mistresses allegorically receiving their just desserts –– and wrought entirely of shining sterling silver!  Unfortunately, the Victorian version of Nell, nobly giving away her oranges to the poor, is often the one that appears even today in contemporary histories.

Loretta: There were other men in Nell’s life beyond the king –– Charles Hart, the actor and an early lover; Lord Buckhurst, Lord Buckingham, Lord Rochester –– all fascinating men who played significant roles in Restoration London.  But for me, Rochester was the most intriguing, a lost soul, if ever I’ve met one.  Would you tell us something about this other player in Nell’s life?

Susan: There’s no better definition of a lost soul than John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, shown here.  Yet anotherRochester3 left fatherless by the Civil War, he was regarded as breathtakingly beautiful, funny, intelligent, intellectual, gifted both at writing poetry and the fast-paced banter of Charles II’s Court.  Unfortunately, he was also cursed by self-destructive alcoholism and a true libertine’s taste for sexual adventure and excess, and died badly of drink and syphilis at the age of 33.  The recent Johnny Depp movie (The Libertine) over-simplified his life, as film biographies often do.  He and Nell were fast friends, though apparently never lovers.  Like her, Rochester was much loved by the King for his ability to entertain, and he was fascinated by the make-believe world of the playhouse where Nell reigned as comic queen.  He was often her advisor in financial matters and her advocate with Charles, and she remained his loyal friend through his repeated disgraces and banishments from Court and his last, consuming illness.  I found it fascinating that the same man who wrote some of the most pornographic and bitter poetry about women to be found in English literature could also be so close to a woman like Nell, and their unusual friendship was an important stabilizer in both their lives.

Loretta: You’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Restoration era.  In researching Nell’s story, did you come across anything that surprised or intrigued you? 

Susan: I think I’ve probably had the same experience as most other writers do who love the past: the more you learn, the more you realize how little you still know.  The Restoration is a delicious time in English history, straddling as it does the end of the middle ages and the beginning of the age of enlightenment.  Traitors are still drawn and quartered, their heads stuck on spikes on London Bridge, yet Christopher Wren is rebuilding London into a modern city and Isaac Newton is making revolutionary scientific discoveries.  Much like the Regency era 150 years in the future, the Restoration is a time of tremendous social instability and change, with a mercantile middle class increasing its power while the aristocracy is feeling the first pinch of waning influence.  Add to this unforgettable people like King Charles, Nell Gwyn, and Lord Rochester, and it’s an irresistible setting for any historical novelist.

Loretta: The King’s Favorite offers us a number of glimpses of Louise de Keroualle, a detested rival of Nell’s whose story you’ll be telling in The French Mistress.  Would you give us a preview of this book? 
.
Louise Susan:  Louise de Keroualle (in the painting to the left) was Charles’s last “official” mistress, a lovely French lady whose plump cheeks so delighted Charles that he fondly nicknamed her Fubbs.  The average Englishman was not as charmed: Louise was so despised that she dared not travel around London unattended.  She was loathed as being greedy, petulant, and, worst of all, for being French.  But Louise was far more complicated than that, and more intriguing, too.  Born to a genteel French family, she was sent by King Louis as a “gift” to his cousin Charles, and a spy for the French.  No one ever expected her to find a lasting place in Charles’s heart, and in English history as well.  Click here for a preview of The French Mistress, scheduled for publication next summer.

Thank you, Susan!

And thank you, readers, for joining us–and one more reminder:  One lucky commenter will win a copy of The King’s Favorite.

125 thoughts on “The King’s Favorite: The Interview, Part Two”

  1. It sounds like this is going to be just as wonderful as Sarah and Barbara’s stories. Can’t wait. Also can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently. Thanks, Susan.

    Reply
  2. It sounds like this is going to be just as wonderful as Sarah and Barbara’s stories. Can’t wait. Also can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently. Thanks, Susan.

    Reply
  3. It sounds like this is going to be just as wonderful as Sarah and Barbara’s stories. Can’t wait. Also can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently. Thanks, Susan.

    Reply
  4. It sounds like this is going to be just as wonderful as Sarah and Barbara’s stories. Can’t wait. Also can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently. Thanks, Susan.

    Reply
  5. It sounds like this is going to be just as wonderful as Sarah and Barbara’s stories. Can’t wait. Also can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently. Thanks, Susan.

    Reply
  6. Thanks for the great interview! This is the kind of thing I enjoy, hearing how a book came about from the author in a casual setting, among friends 🙂
    And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the great interview! This is the kind of thing I enjoy, hearing how a book came about from the author in a casual setting, among friends 🙂
    And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!

    Reply
  8. Thanks for the great interview! This is the kind of thing I enjoy, hearing how a book came about from the author in a casual setting, among friends 🙂
    And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!

    Reply
  9. Thanks for the great interview! This is the kind of thing I enjoy, hearing how a book came about from the author in a casual setting, among friends 🙂
    And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!

    Reply
  10. Thanks for the great interview! This is the kind of thing I enjoy, hearing how a book came about from the author in a casual setting, among friends 🙂
    And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!

    Reply
  11. Susan replying, and moving two late comments from the end of the “Part One” section over here to “Part Two”:
    Suzy wrote: “I always felt bad for Charles II’s Portuguese wife. All of those mistresses…He did treat her better than some of the royals of his time treated their wives, I guess. Especially since she didn’t provide him an heir. That all important heir.”
    Charles’s relationship with his wife Catherine is interesting. It was a dynastic match, with no meeting between the two until the wedding. She was not at all his “type.” Catherine was plain and dark, and arrived in England dressed in the decidedly un-sexy Portuguese fashion of a huge farthingale and wired headdress (Charles’s much-reported comment: “I thought they were sending me a woman, not a bat!”) and surrounded by grim-faced Portuguese ladies and priests. Worst of all for a man who loved witty, clever women, she spoke no English, and even if she had, her strict convent education made her woefully unprepared for the constant bawdy jests and double-entendres that were a fixture of Charles’s court.
    She promptly fell deeply in love with him, and remained so the rest of her life. While he didn’t feel the same romantic devotion to her, he did show her surprising respect and kindness, and expected others to show it towards her, too. Yet he also expected her to tolerate his mistresses, and though at first she found this devastating, over the years she actually became friends with several of them, and was particularly fond of Charles’s illegitimate sons.
    The fact that Catherine never bore Charles an heir was the greatest disappointment of both their lives. Yet though it was clearly her “fault” (his many children with other women proved that), he steadfastly refused to consider divorcing her and remarrying with the hope of siring a son, as had his ancestor King Henry VIII. He was all too aware of how disastrously ill-equipped his brother James was to be king after him, but he would not disgrace Catherine with the shame of a royal divorce. If Charles had followed Henry’s course, then English history might have taken a much different course.

    Reply
  12. Susan replying, and moving two late comments from the end of the “Part One” section over here to “Part Two”:
    Suzy wrote: “I always felt bad for Charles II’s Portuguese wife. All of those mistresses…He did treat her better than some of the royals of his time treated their wives, I guess. Especially since she didn’t provide him an heir. That all important heir.”
    Charles’s relationship with his wife Catherine is interesting. It was a dynastic match, with no meeting between the two until the wedding. She was not at all his “type.” Catherine was plain and dark, and arrived in England dressed in the decidedly un-sexy Portuguese fashion of a huge farthingale and wired headdress (Charles’s much-reported comment: “I thought they were sending me a woman, not a bat!”) and surrounded by grim-faced Portuguese ladies and priests. Worst of all for a man who loved witty, clever women, she spoke no English, and even if she had, her strict convent education made her woefully unprepared for the constant bawdy jests and double-entendres that were a fixture of Charles’s court.
    She promptly fell deeply in love with him, and remained so the rest of her life. While he didn’t feel the same romantic devotion to her, he did show her surprising respect and kindness, and expected others to show it towards her, too. Yet he also expected her to tolerate his mistresses, and though at first she found this devastating, over the years she actually became friends with several of them, and was particularly fond of Charles’s illegitimate sons.
    The fact that Catherine never bore Charles an heir was the greatest disappointment of both their lives. Yet though it was clearly her “fault” (his many children with other women proved that), he steadfastly refused to consider divorcing her and remarrying with the hope of siring a son, as had his ancestor King Henry VIII. He was all too aware of how disastrously ill-equipped his brother James was to be king after him, but he would not disgrace Catherine with the shame of a royal divorce. If Charles had followed Henry’s course, then English history might have taken a much different course.

    Reply
  13. Susan replying, and moving two late comments from the end of the “Part One” section over here to “Part Two”:
    Suzy wrote: “I always felt bad for Charles II’s Portuguese wife. All of those mistresses…He did treat her better than some of the royals of his time treated their wives, I guess. Especially since she didn’t provide him an heir. That all important heir.”
    Charles’s relationship with his wife Catherine is interesting. It was a dynastic match, with no meeting between the two until the wedding. She was not at all his “type.” Catherine was plain and dark, and arrived in England dressed in the decidedly un-sexy Portuguese fashion of a huge farthingale and wired headdress (Charles’s much-reported comment: “I thought they were sending me a woman, not a bat!”) and surrounded by grim-faced Portuguese ladies and priests. Worst of all for a man who loved witty, clever women, she spoke no English, and even if she had, her strict convent education made her woefully unprepared for the constant bawdy jests and double-entendres that were a fixture of Charles’s court.
    She promptly fell deeply in love with him, and remained so the rest of her life. While he didn’t feel the same romantic devotion to her, he did show her surprising respect and kindness, and expected others to show it towards her, too. Yet he also expected her to tolerate his mistresses, and though at first she found this devastating, over the years she actually became friends with several of them, and was particularly fond of Charles’s illegitimate sons.
    The fact that Catherine never bore Charles an heir was the greatest disappointment of both their lives. Yet though it was clearly her “fault” (his many children with other women proved that), he steadfastly refused to consider divorcing her and remarrying with the hope of siring a son, as had his ancestor King Henry VIII. He was all too aware of how disastrously ill-equipped his brother James was to be king after him, but he would not disgrace Catherine with the shame of a royal divorce. If Charles had followed Henry’s course, then English history might have taken a much different course.

    Reply
  14. Susan replying, and moving two late comments from the end of the “Part One” section over here to “Part Two”:
    Suzy wrote: “I always felt bad for Charles II’s Portuguese wife. All of those mistresses…He did treat her better than some of the royals of his time treated their wives, I guess. Especially since she didn’t provide him an heir. That all important heir.”
    Charles’s relationship with his wife Catherine is interesting. It was a dynastic match, with no meeting between the two until the wedding. She was not at all his “type.” Catherine was plain and dark, and arrived in England dressed in the decidedly un-sexy Portuguese fashion of a huge farthingale and wired headdress (Charles’s much-reported comment: “I thought they were sending me a woman, not a bat!”) and surrounded by grim-faced Portuguese ladies and priests. Worst of all for a man who loved witty, clever women, she spoke no English, and even if she had, her strict convent education made her woefully unprepared for the constant bawdy jests and double-entendres that were a fixture of Charles’s court.
    She promptly fell deeply in love with him, and remained so the rest of her life. While he didn’t feel the same romantic devotion to her, he did show her surprising respect and kindness, and expected others to show it towards her, too. Yet he also expected her to tolerate his mistresses, and though at first she found this devastating, over the years she actually became friends with several of them, and was particularly fond of Charles’s illegitimate sons.
    The fact that Catherine never bore Charles an heir was the greatest disappointment of both their lives. Yet though it was clearly her “fault” (his many children with other women proved that), he steadfastly refused to consider divorcing her and remarrying with the hope of siring a son, as had his ancestor King Henry VIII. He was all too aware of how disastrously ill-equipped his brother James was to be king after him, but he would not disgrace Catherine with the shame of a royal divorce. If Charles had followed Henry’s course, then English history might have taken a much different course.

    Reply
  15. Susan replying, and moving two late comments from the end of the “Part One” section over here to “Part Two”:
    Suzy wrote: “I always felt bad for Charles II’s Portuguese wife. All of those mistresses…He did treat her better than some of the royals of his time treated their wives, I guess. Especially since she didn’t provide him an heir. That all important heir.”
    Charles’s relationship with his wife Catherine is interesting. It was a dynastic match, with no meeting between the two until the wedding. She was not at all his “type.” Catherine was plain and dark, and arrived in England dressed in the decidedly un-sexy Portuguese fashion of a huge farthingale and wired headdress (Charles’s much-reported comment: “I thought they were sending me a woman, not a bat!”) and surrounded by grim-faced Portuguese ladies and priests. Worst of all for a man who loved witty, clever women, she spoke no English, and even if she had, her strict convent education made her woefully unprepared for the constant bawdy jests and double-entendres that were a fixture of Charles’s court.
    She promptly fell deeply in love with him, and remained so the rest of her life. While he didn’t feel the same romantic devotion to her, he did show her surprising respect and kindness, and expected others to show it towards her, too. Yet he also expected her to tolerate his mistresses, and though at first she found this devastating, over the years she actually became friends with several of them, and was particularly fond of Charles’s illegitimate sons.
    The fact that Catherine never bore Charles an heir was the greatest disappointment of both their lives. Yet though it was clearly her “fault” (his many children with other women proved that), he steadfastly refused to consider divorcing her and remarrying with the hope of siring a son, as had his ancestor King Henry VIII. He was all too aware of how disastrously ill-equipped his brother James was to be king after him, but he would not disgrace Catherine with the shame of a royal divorce. If Charles had followed Henry’s course, then English history might have taken a much different course.

    Reply
  16. Susan replying some more….
    Anne wrote: “Oh, la, Mary Jo, you make me laugh! 🙂 And, I must say, I agree with your take on the Stuarts. However, I would be happy to judge Chuck II on his own merits.”
    Charles II is really a whole different kettle o’ fish from the other Stuarts. He didn’t resemble his ancestors or descendants physically or philosophically, and he was miles apart on the thorny questions of religion and tolerance. But I will follow through as I promised, and write a blog about him later in July.
    Sharon wrote: “Can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently.”
    That’s what has been so much fun about this series. Because the books are “told” by his of the heroines in turn, everything is colored by their perspective. It’s really been like writing one giant book with many points of view.
    Theo wrote: “And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!”
    I hadn’t realized it either, Theo, until I began my research, but they turn up in each other’s lives over and over. Because Nell was pretty much illiterate, there aren’t any letters left between them, which is a shame. What a pair of witty clowns they must have made together! He did write to her, grumbling that because she had to ask another to read them aloud, he was reluctant to be as frank as he wished. They did have many friends and associates in common (Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was one of Rochester’s best friends and Nell’s lover before the king), and shared interests in the theatre, wordplay, and, of course, amusing the king.
    I don’t know if there’s enough hard fact to support an entire book about the two of them; it would definitely have to be more fiction than history. But I couldn’t resist incorporating their friendship into my story, for Rochester’s presence illuminates another side of both Nell, and Charles, too.

    Reply
  17. Susan replying some more….
    Anne wrote: “Oh, la, Mary Jo, you make me laugh! 🙂 And, I must say, I agree with your take on the Stuarts. However, I would be happy to judge Chuck II on his own merits.”
    Charles II is really a whole different kettle o’ fish from the other Stuarts. He didn’t resemble his ancestors or descendants physically or philosophically, and he was miles apart on the thorny questions of religion and tolerance. But I will follow through as I promised, and write a blog about him later in July.
    Sharon wrote: “Can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently.”
    That’s what has been so much fun about this series. Because the books are “told” by his of the heroines in turn, everything is colored by their perspective. It’s really been like writing one giant book with many points of view.
    Theo wrote: “And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!”
    I hadn’t realized it either, Theo, until I began my research, but they turn up in each other’s lives over and over. Because Nell was pretty much illiterate, there aren’t any letters left between them, which is a shame. What a pair of witty clowns they must have made together! He did write to her, grumbling that because she had to ask another to read them aloud, he was reluctant to be as frank as he wished. They did have many friends and associates in common (Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was one of Rochester’s best friends and Nell’s lover before the king), and shared interests in the theatre, wordplay, and, of course, amusing the king.
    I don’t know if there’s enough hard fact to support an entire book about the two of them; it would definitely have to be more fiction than history. But I couldn’t resist incorporating their friendship into my story, for Rochester’s presence illuminates another side of both Nell, and Charles, too.

    Reply
  18. Susan replying some more….
    Anne wrote: “Oh, la, Mary Jo, you make me laugh! 🙂 And, I must say, I agree with your take on the Stuarts. However, I would be happy to judge Chuck II on his own merits.”
    Charles II is really a whole different kettle o’ fish from the other Stuarts. He didn’t resemble his ancestors or descendants physically or philosophically, and he was miles apart on the thorny questions of religion and tolerance. But I will follow through as I promised, and write a blog about him later in July.
    Sharon wrote: “Can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently.”
    That’s what has been so much fun about this series. Because the books are “told” by his of the heroines in turn, everything is colored by their perspective. It’s really been like writing one giant book with many points of view.
    Theo wrote: “And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!”
    I hadn’t realized it either, Theo, until I began my research, but they turn up in each other’s lives over and over. Because Nell was pretty much illiterate, there aren’t any letters left between them, which is a shame. What a pair of witty clowns they must have made together! He did write to her, grumbling that because she had to ask another to read them aloud, he was reluctant to be as frank as he wished. They did have many friends and associates in common (Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was one of Rochester’s best friends and Nell’s lover before the king), and shared interests in the theatre, wordplay, and, of course, amusing the king.
    I don’t know if there’s enough hard fact to support an entire book about the two of them; it would definitely have to be more fiction than history. But I couldn’t resist incorporating their friendship into my story, for Rochester’s presence illuminates another side of both Nell, and Charles, too.

    Reply
  19. Susan replying some more….
    Anne wrote: “Oh, la, Mary Jo, you make me laugh! 🙂 And, I must say, I agree with your take on the Stuarts. However, I would be happy to judge Chuck II on his own merits.”
    Charles II is really a whole different kettle o’ fish from the other Stuarts. He didn’t resemble his ancestors or descendants physically or philosophically, and he was miles apart on the thorny questions of religion and tolerance. But I will follow through as I promised, and write a blog about him later in July.
    Sharon wrote: “Can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently.”
    That’s what has been so much fun about this series. Because the books are “told” by his of the heroines in turn, everything is colored by their perspective. It’s really been like writing one giant book with many points of view.
    Theo wrote: “And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!”
    I hadn’t realized it either, Theo, until I began my research, but they turn up in each other’s lives over and over. Because Nell was pretty much illiterate, there aren’t any letters left between them, which is a shame. What a pair of witty clowns they must have made together! He did write to her, grumbling that because she had to ask another to read them aloud, he was reluctant to be as frank as he wished. They did have many friends and associates in common (Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was one of Rochester’s best friends and Nell’s lover before the king), and shared interests in the theatre, wordplay, and, of course, amusing the king.
    I don’t know if there’s enough hard fact to support an entire book about the two of them; it would definitely have to be more fiction than history. But I couldn’t resist incorporating their friendship into my story, for Rochester’s presence illuminates another side of both Nell, and Charles, too.

    Reply
  20. Susan replying some more….
    Anne wrote: “Oh, la, Mary Jo, you make me laugh! 🙂 And, I must say, I agree with your take on the Stuarts. However, I would be happy to judge Chuck II on his own merits.”
    Charles II is really a whole different kettle o’ fish from the other Stuarts. He didn’t resemble his ancestors or descendants physically or philosophically, and he was miles apart on the thorny questions of religion and tolerance. But I will follow through as I promised, and write a blog about him later in July.
    Sharon wrote: “Can’t wait to see what new aspect of Charles’ personality comes forth in The French Mistress. It’s kind of like looking at the same event from the perspectives of different people — the facts may be the same, but they’re all “colored” just a little bit differently.”
    That’s what has been so much fun about this series. Because the books are “told” by his of the heroines in turn, everything is colored by their perspective. It’s really been like writing one giant book with many points of view.
    Theo wrote: “And I learned something new! I had no idea Nell and John Wilmot were so close. Very interesting side tidbit. I would love to read a novel based on that relationship!”
    I hadn’t realized it either, Theo, until I began my research, but they turn up in each other’s lives over and over. Because Nell was pretty much illiterate, there aren’t any letters left between them, which is a shame. What a pair of witty clowns they must have made together! He did write to her, grumbling that because she had to ask another to read them aloud, he was reluctant to be as frank as he wished. They did have many friends and associates in common (Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was one of Rochester’s best friends and Nell’s lover before the king), and shared interests in the theatre, wordplay, and, of course, amusing the king.
    I don’t know if there’s enough hard fact to support an entire book about the two of them; it would definitely have to be more fiction than history. But I couldn’t resist incorporating their friendship into my story, for Rochester’s presence illuminates another side of both Nell, and Charles, too.

    Reply
  21. I love biographies, historical fiction and historical romances, but I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers. It has all the aspects of conflict and poignancy needed for a great story, but we fail to see many of them published. Why do you think that is so? And thank you for giving us these great stories in another genre than historical romance. This stuff is too good to leave unexplored.

    Reply
  22. I love biographies, historical fiction and historical romances, but I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers. It has all the aspects of conflict and poignancy needed for a great story, but we fail to see many of them published. Why do you think that is so? And thank you for giving us these great stories in another genre than historical romance. This stuff is too good to leave unexplored.

    Reply
  23. I love biographies, historical fiction and historical romances, but I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers. It has all the aspects of conflict and poignancy needed for a great story, but we fail to see many of them published. Why do you think that is so? And thank you for giving us these great stories in another genre than historical romance. This stuff is too good to leave unexplored.

    Reply
  24. I love biographies, historical fiction and historical romances, but I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers. It has all the aspects of conflict and poignancy needed for a great story, but we fail to see many of them published. Why do you think that is so? And thank you for giving us these great stories in another genre than historical romance. This stuff is too good to leave unexplored.

    Reply
  25. I love biographies, historical fiction and historical romances, but I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers. It has all the aspects of conflict and poignancy needed for a great story, but we fail to see many of them published. Why do you think that is so? And thank you for giving us these great stories in another genre than historical romance. This stuff is too good to leave unexplored.

    Reply
  26. From MJP:
    Despite my general trashing of Stuarts, I’ve always liked how he treated Catherine with respect. I once read a fictionalized biography (by Norah Lofts, maybe?) where her character arc was fulfilled by quietly getting a priest in to Charles’s deathbed for a last minute conversion to Catholicism, which gave meaning to her life. I have no idea if there’s any evidence for this, but it worked dramatically.
    There are so many “what ifs” about Charles. While his treatment of his wife is admirable, leaving England to his brother’s incompetent hands wasn’t. More laziness and/or procrastination? You’d know that much better than I, Susan!
    It really is fascinating to see him and his times refracted through the lens of three different mistresses. I look forward to NAL doing a boxed set of THE KING’S MISTRESSES at some future date!
    MaryJo

    Reply
  27. From MJP:
    Despite my general trashing of Stuarts, I’ve always liked how he treated Catherine with respect. I once read a fictionalized biography (by Norah Lofts, maybe?) where her character arc was fulfilled by quietly getting a priest in to Charles’s deathbed for a last minute conversion to Catholicism, which gave meaning to her life. I have no idea if there’s any evidence for this, but it worked dramatically.
    There are so many “what ifs” about Charles. While his treatment of his wife is admirable, leaving England to his brother’s incompetent hands wasn’t. More laziness and/or procrastination? You’d know that much better than I, Susan!
    It really is fascinating to see him and his times refracted through the lens of three different mistresses. I look forward to NAL doing a boxed set of THE KING’S MISTRESSES at some future date!
    MaryJo

    Reply
  28. From MJP:
    Despite my general trashing of Stuarts, I’ve always liked how he treated Catherine with respect. I once read a fictionalized biography (by Norah Lofts, maybe?) where her character arc was fulfilled by quietly getting a priest in to Charles’s deathbed for a last minute conversion to Catholicism, which gave meaning to her life. I have no idea if there’s any evidence for this, but it worked dramatically.
    There are so many “what ifs” about Charles. While his treatment of his wife is admirable, leaving England to his brother’s incompetent hands wasn’t. More laziness and/or procrastination? You’d know that much better than I, Susan!
    It really is fascinating to see him and his times refracted through the lens of three different mistresses. I look forward to NAL doing a boxed set of THE KING’S MISTRESSES at some future date!
    MaryJo

    Reply
  29. From MJP:
    Despite my general trashing of Stuarts, I’ve always liked how he treated Catherine with respect. I once read a fictionalized biography (by Norah Lofts, maybe?) where her character arc was fulfilled by quietly getting a priest in to Charles’s deathbed for a last minute conversion to Catholicism, which gave meaning to her life. I have no idea if there’s any evidence for this, but it worked dramatically.
    There are so many “what ifs” about Charles. While his treatment of his wife is admirable, leaving England to his brother’s incompetent hands wasn’t. More laziness and/or procrastination? You’d know that much better than I, Susan!
    It really is fascinating to see him and his times refracted through the lens of three different mistresses. I look forward to NAL doing a boxed set of THE KING’S MISTRESSES at some future date!
    MaryJo

    Reply
  30. From MJP:
    Despite my general trashing of Stuarts, I’ve always liked how he treated Catherine with respect. I once read a fictionalized biography (by Norah Lofts, maybe?) where her character arc was fulfilled by quietly getting a priest in to Charles’s deathbed for a last minute conversion to Catholicism, which gave meaning to her life. I have no idea if there’s any evidence for this, but it worked dramatically.
    There are so many “what ifs” about Charles. While his treatment of his wife is admirable, leaving England to his brother’s incompetent hands wasn’t. More laziness and/or procrastination? You’d know that much better than I, Susan!
    It really is fascinating to see him and his times refracted through the lens of three different mistresses. I look forward to NAL doing a boxed set of THE KING’S MISTRESSES at some future date!
    MaryJo

    Reply
  31. This part of the interview was even more fascinating than the one before. I don’t recall Nell Gwyn from “The Libertine” movie, but then Hollywood does change things around!
    I hope you’ll write about the story behind the picture on the cover, the way you did before. I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?
    I loved both “The Duchess” and “The Royal Harlot.” Now I can’t wait to read this book, too. Thank you so much for granting this interview.

    Reply
  32. This part of the interview was even more fascinating than the one before. I don’t recall Nell Gwyn from “The Libertine” movie, but then Hollywood does change things around!
    I hope you’ll write about the story behind the picture on the cover, the way you did before. I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?
    I loved both “The Duchess” and “The Royal Harlot.” Now I can’t wait to read this book, too. Thank you so much for granting this interview.

    Reply
  33. This part of the interview was even more fascinating than the one before. I don’t recall Nell Gwyn from “The Libertine” movie, but then Hollywood does change things around!
    I hope you’ll write about the story behind the picture on the cover, the way you did before. I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?
    I loved both “The Duchess” and “The Royal Harlot.” Now I can’t wait to read this book, too. Thank you so much for granting this interview.

    Reply
  34. This part of the interview was even more fascinating than the one before. I don’t recall Nell Gwyn from “The Libertine” movie, but then Hollywood does change things around!
    I hope you’ll write about the story behind the picture on the cover, the way you did before. I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?
    I loved both “The Duchess” and “The Royal Harlot.” Now I can’t wait to read this book, too. Thank you so much for granting this interview.

    Reply
  35. This part of the interview was even more fascinating than the one before. I don’t recall Nell Gwyn from “The Libertine” movie, but then Hollywood does change things around!
    I hope you’ll write about the story behind the picture on the cover, the way you did before. I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?
    I loved both “The Duchess” and “The Royal Harlot.” Now I can’t wait to read this book, too. Thank you so much for granting this interview.

    Reply
  36. Susan here again:
    Valerie wrote: “I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers.”
    I can’t understand it, either, Valerie. Seemingly it has everything to make a great setting: a free-wheeling society, palaces and princes and kings, good clothes and FANTASTIC hats, and random outbursts of sword-fighting. Oh, well…. I have to think that part of it is that the Restoration is a time period that means nothing to most Americans. In this country, the only Civil War anyone knows about happened between the North and South, and that’s that. Too bad!
    But these things come and go in cycles. A few years ago, writers were specifically warned to avoid Henry VIII and the entire Tudor period, and we all know how that has changed.
    Mary Jo, I think the book you mean about Charles’s queen was “The Merry Monarch’s Wife” by Jean Plaidy; Crown has recently reissued it as a trade paperback.
    No one knows for certain if Catherine managed to have Charles convert to Catholicism on his deathbed, just as no one knows whether it was her doing, or his brother James’, or perhaps the two of them together. In any event, Charles had been left so debilitated by a series of strokes and his doctors’ treatments that it’s doubtful he could have made such a choice himself, even if he wished to. Another of history’s mysteries –– like why on earth Charles would see his throne go to James. Reportedly Charles was torn over his desire to respect both the queen and the succession and his certainty that James would be a miserable king (which James undeniably was, lasting only three years before he was chased from his throne in favor of his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange.) Charles was also a terrible procrastinator, so it’s likely that he was still planning something more definite when he was stricken with his last, fatal illness.
    But who knows? Real life never ties up its plot threads as neatly as our editors expect. 🙂

    Reply
  37. Susan here again:
    Valerie wrote: “I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers.”
    I can’t understand it, either, Valerie. Seemingly it has everything to make a great setting: a free-wheeling society, palaces and princes and kings, good clothes and FANTASTIC hats, and random outbursts of sword-fighting. Oh, well…. I have to think that part of it is that the Restoration is a time period that means nothing to most Americans. In this country, the only Civil War anyone knows about happened between the North and South, and that’s that. Too bad!
    But these things come and go in cycles. A few years ago, writers were specifically warned to avoid Henry VIII and the entire Tudor period, and we all know how that has changed.
    Mary Jo, I think the book you mean about Charles’s queen was “The Merry Monarch’s Wife” by Jean Plaidy; Crown has recently reissued it as a trade paperback.
    No one knows for certain if Catherine managed to have Charles convert to Catholicism on his deathbed, just as no one knows whether it was her doing, or his brother James’, or perhaps the two of them together. In any event, Charles had been left so debilitated by a series of strokes and his doctors’ treatments that it’s doubtful he could have made such a choice himself, even if he wished to. Another of history’s mysteries –– like why on earth Charles would see his throne go to James. Reportedly Charles was torn over his desire to respect both the queen and the succession and his certainty that James would be a miserable king (which James undeniably was, lasting only three years before he was chased from his throne in favor of his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange.) Charles was also a terrible procrastinator, so it’s likely that he was still planning something more definite when he was stricken with his last, fatal illness.
    But who knows? Real life never ties up its plot threads as neatly as our editors expect. 🙂

    Reply
  38. Susan here again:
    Valerie wrote: “I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers.”
    I can’t understand it, either, Valerie. Seemingly it has everything to make a great setting: a free-wheeling society, palaces and princes and kings, good clothes and FANTASTIC hats, and random outbursts of sword-fighting. Oh, well…. I have to think that part of it is that the Restoration is a time period that means nothing to most Americans. In this country, the only Civil War anyone knows about happened between the North and South, and that’s that. Too bad!
    But these things come and go in cycles. A few years ago, writers were specifically warned to avoid Henry VIII and the entire Tudor period, and we all know how that has changed.
    Mary Jo, I think the book you mean about Charles’s queen was “The Merry Monarch’s Wife” by Jean Plaidy; Crown has recently reissued it as a trade paperback.
    No one knows for certain if Catherine managed to have Charles convert to Catholicism on his deathbed, just as no one knows whether it was her doing, or his brother James’, or perhaps the two of them together. In any event, Charles had been left so debilitated by a series of strokes and his doctors’ treatments that it’s doubtful he could have made such a choice himself, even if he wished to. Another of history’s mysteries –– like why on earth Charles would see his throne go to James. Reportedly Charles was torn over his desire to respect both the queen and the succession and his certainty that James would be a miserable king (which James undeniably was, lasting only three years before he was chased from his throne in favor of his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange.) Charles was also a terrible procrastinator, so it’s likely that he was still planning something more definite when he was stricken with his last, fatal illness.
    But who knows? Real life never ties up its plot threads as neatly as our editors expect. 🙂

    Reply
  39. Susan here again:
    Valerie wrote: “I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers.”
    I can’t understand it, either, Valerie. Seemingly it has everything to make a great setting: a free-wheeling society, palaces and princes and kings, good clothes and FANTASTIC hats, and random outbursts of sword-fighting. Oh, well…. I have to think that part of it is that the Restoration is a time period that means nothing to most Americans. In this country, the only Civil War anyone knows about happened between the North and South, and that’s that. Too bad!
    But these things come and go in cycles. A few years ago, writers were specifically warned to avoid Henry VIII and the entire Tudor period, and we all know how that has changed.
    Mary Jo, I think the book you mean about Charles’s queen was “The Merry Monarch’s Wife” by Jean Plaidy; Crown has recently reissued it as a trade paperback.
    No one knows for certain if Catherine managed to have Charles convert to Catholicism on his deathbed, just as no one knows whether it was her doing, or his brother James’, or perhaps the two of them together. In any event, Charles had been left so debilitated by a series of strokes and his doctors’ treatments that it’s doubtful he could have made such a choice himself, even if he wished to. Another of history’s mysteries –– like why on earth Charles would see his throne go to James. Reportedly Charles was torn over his desire to respect both the queen and the succession and his certainty that James would be a miserable king (which James undeniably was, lasting only three years before he was chased from his throne in favor of his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange.) Charles was also a terrible procrastinator, so it’s likely that he was still planning something more definite when he was stricken with his last, fatal illness.
    But who knows? Real life never ties up its plot threads as neatly as our editors expect. 🙂

    Reply
  40. Susan here again:
    Valerie wrote: “I can’t understand why the Restoration period has been so overlooked by historical romance publishers.”
    I can’t understand it, either, Valerie. Seemingly it has everything to make a great setting: a free-wheeling society, palaces and princes and kings, good clothes and FANTASTIC hats, and random outbursts of sword-fighting. Oh, well…. I have to think that part of it is that the Restoration is a time period that means nothing to most Americans. In this country, the only Civil War anyone knows about happened between the North and South, and that’s that. Too bad!
    But these things come and go in cycles. A few years ago, writers were specifically warned to avoid Henry VIII and the entire Tudor period, and we all know how that has changed.
    Mary Jo, I think the book you mean about Charles’s queen was “The Merry Monarch’s Wife” by Jean Plaidy; Crown has recently reissued it as a trade paperback.
    No one knows for certain if Catherine managed to have Charles convert to Catholicism on his deathbed, just as no one knows whether it was her doing, or his brother James’, or perhaps the two of them together. In any event, Charles had been left so debilitated by a series of strokes and his doctors’ treatments that it’s doubtful he could have made such a choice himself, even if he wished to. Another of history’s mysteries –– like why on earth Charles would see his throne go to James. Reportedly Charles was torn over his desire to respect both the queen and the succession and his certainty that James would be a miserable king (which James undeniably was, lasting only three years before he was chased from his throne in favor of his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange.) Charles was also a terrible procrastinator, so it’s likely that he was still planning something more definite when he was stricken with his last, fatal illness.
    But who knows? Real life never ties up its plot threads as neatly as our editors expect. 🙂

    Reply
  41. I can’t remember ever reading anything about this period, but this interview has made it sound interesting. I’ll be looking for these books.

    Reply
  42. I can’t remember ever reading anything about this period, but this interview has made it sound interesting. I’ll be looking for these books.

    Reply
  43. I can’t remember ever reading anything about this period, but this interview has made it sound interesting. I’ll be looking for these books.

    Reply
  44. I can’t remember ever reading anything about this period, but this interview has made it sound interesting. I’ll be looking for these books.

    Reply
  45. I can’t remember ever reading anything about this period, but this interview has made it sound interesting. I’ll be looking for these books.

    Reply
  46. Susan, I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character. Since there really aren’t that many hard facts, who would be there to say you were wrong about anything?
    I’d love to read it!!

    Reply
  47. Susan, I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character. Since there really aren’t that many hard facts, who would be there to say you were wrong about anything?
    I’d love to read it!!

    Reply
  48. Susan, I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character. Since there really aren’t that many hard facts, who would be there to say you were wrong about anything?
    I’d love to read it!!

    Reply
  49. Susan, I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character. Since there really aren’t that many hard facts, who would be there to say you were wrong about anything?
    I’d love to read it!!

    Reply
  50. Susan, I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character. Since there really aren’t that many hard facts, who would be there to say you were wrong about anything?
    I’d love to read it!!

    Reply
  51. Susan here again:
    Theo wrote: ” I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character”
    Theo, I think you’ll find I’ve already gone as far as I could in “King’s Favorite.” It’s unusual to find male-female friendships in the past, and I couldn’t resist making Lord Rochester a major character for Nell. Of course, given both their personalities, it’s a pretty flirtatious friendship, but hey, what’s wrong with that? *g*
    Hazel B, I hope you’ll take a chance on the Restoration setting, particularly if you’d like to “visit” someplace new.
    Mary Jo, I somehow forgot to agree –yes, yes, to an eventual Restoration-themed box set! *g* From your lips to the editorial ears of NAL…

    Reply
  52. Susan here again:
    Theo wrote: ” I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character”
    Theo, I think you’ll find I’ve already gone as far as I could in “King’s Favorite.” It’s unusual to find male-female friendships in the past, and I couldn’t resist making Lord Rochester a major character for Nell. Of course, given both their personalities, it’s a pretty flirtatious friendship, but hey, what’s wrong with that? *g*
    Hazel B, I hope you’ll take a chance on the Restoration setting, particularly if you’d like to “visit” someplace new.
    Mary Jo, I somehow forgot to agree –yes, yes, to an eventual Restoration-themed box set! *g* From your lips to the editorial ears of NAL…

    Reply
  53. Susan here again:
    Theo wrote: ” I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character”
    Theo, I think you’ll find I’ve already gone as far as I could in “King’s Favorite.” It’s unusual to find male-female friendships in the past, and I couldn’t resist making Lord Rochester a major character for Nell. Of course, given both their personalities, it’s a pretty flirtatious friendship, but hey, what’s wrong with that? *g*
    Hazel B, I hope you’ll take a chance on the Restoration setting, particularly if you’d like to “visit” someplace new.
    Mary Jo, I somehow forgot to agree –yes, yes, to an eventual Restoration-themed box set! *g* From your lips to the editorial ears of NAL…

    Reply
  54. Susan here again:
    Theo wrote: ” I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character”
    Theo, I think you’ll find I’ve already gone as far as I could in “King’s Favorite.” It’s unusual to find male-female friendships in the past, and I couldn’t resist making Lord Rochester a major character for Nell. Of course, given both their personalities, it’s a pretty flirtatious friendship, but hey, what’s wrong with that? *g*
    Hazel B, I hope you’ll take a chance on the Restoration setting, particularly if you’d like to “visit” someplace new.
    Mary Jo, I somehow forgot to agree –yes, yes, to an eventual Restoration-themed box set! *g* From your lips to the editorial ears of NAL…

    Reply
  55. Susan here again:
    Theo wrote: ” I see no reason why you couldn’t fictionalize a good deal of the story between Wilmot and Nell, using all of the historical facts as far as time and place almost as a third character”
    Theo, I think you’ll find I’ve already gone as far as I could in “King’s Favorite.” It’s unusual to find male-female friendships in the past, and I couldn’t resist making Lord Rochester a major character for Nell. Of course, given both their personalities, it’s a pretty flirtatious friendship, but hey, what’s wrong with that? *g*
    Hazel B, I hope you’ll take a chance on the Restoration setting, particularly if you’d like to “visit” someplace new.
    Mary Jo, I somehow forgot to agree –yes, yes, to an eventual Restoration-themed box set! *g* From your lips to the editorial ears of NAL…

    Reply
  56. Susan replying here:
    Theo — You might not be all *that* disappointed. In fact “King’s Favorite” actually begins with the very young Nell meeting the equally young Rochester in the public room of a brothel. Here’s the link to that first chapter: http://www.susanhollowayscott.com/books/favoritepreview.htm
    Connie wrote:”I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?”
    Yes, Connie, that’s Nell, and yes, I’ll try to write about how that portrait came about, too. I do love the stories behind the portraits…:)

    Reply
  57. Susan replying here:
    Theo — You might not be all *that* disappointed. In fact “King’s Favorite” actually begins with the very young Nell meeting the equally young Rochester in the public room of a brothel. Here’s the link to that first chapter: http://www.susanhollowayscott.com/books/favoritepreview.htm
    Connie wrote:”I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?”
    Yes, Connie, that’s Nell, and yes, I’ll try to write about how that portrait came about, too. I do love the stories behind the portraits…:)

    Reply
  58. Susan replying here:
    Theo — You might not be all *that* disappointed. In fact “King’s Favorite” actually begins with the very young Nell meeting the equally young Rochester in the public room of a brothel. Here’s the link to that first chapter: http://www.susanhollowayscott.com/books/favoritepreview.htm
    Connie wrote:”I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?”
    Yes, Connie, that’s Nell, and yes, I’ll try to write about how that portrait came about, too. I do love the stories behind the portraits…:)

    Reply
  59. Susan replying here:
    Theo — You might not be all *that* disappointed. In fact “King’s Favorite” actually begins with the very young Nell meeting the equally young Rochester in the public room of a brothel. Here’s the link to that first chapter: http://www.susanhollowayscott.com/books/favoritepreview.htm
    Connie wrote:”I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?”
    Yes, Connie, that’s Nell, and yes, I’ll try to write about how that portrait came about, too. I do love the stories behind the portraits…:)

    Reply
  60. Susan replying here:
    Theo — You might not be all *that* disappointed. In fact “King’s Favorite” actually begins with the very young Nell meeting the equally young Rochester in the public room of a brothel. Here’s the link to that first chapter: http://www.susanhollowayscott.com/books/favoritepreview.htm
    Connie wrote:”I’m guessing that’s your heroine again on the cover, isn’t it?”
    Yes, Connie, that’s Nell, and yes, I’ll try to write about how that portrait came about, too. I do love the stories behind the portraits…:)

    Reply
  61. Oh, Susan! What fun. You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then. We look at our kids at 17,18, even 21 and think they’re still not ready for life and yet, children as young as 13 were married then and rearing their own babes…how society has changed, aye?

    Reply
  62. Oh, Susan! What fun. You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then. We look at our kids at 17,18, even 21 and think they’re still not ready for life and yet, children as young as 13 were married then and rearing their own babes…how society has changed, aye?

    Reply
  63. Oh, Susan! What fun. You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then. We look at our kids at 17,18, even 21 and think they’re still not ready for life and yet, children as young as 13 were married then and rearing their own babes…how society has changed, aye?

    Reply
  64. Oh, Susan! What fun. You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then. We look at our kids at 17,18, even 21 and think they’re still not ready for life and yet, children as young as 13 were married then and rearing their own babes…how society has changed, aye?

    Reply
  65. Oh, Susan! What fun. You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then. We look at our kids at 17,18, even 21 and think they’re still not ready for life and yet, children as young as 13 were married then and rearing their own babes…how society has changed, aye?

    Reply
  66. Susan replying:
    Cristina wrote: “Will you be writing a novel about Catherine, too, Susan?”
    Don’t know, which is not to say I won’t –only that I don’t really think beyond the next book. *g*
    But Catherine would be challenge. Like the majority of royal princesses married off to kings they’d never met, her story wouldn’t be a particularly cheerful one. Although she lived in a palace, her life was a difficult one, filled with disappointment and regret, with her faith as her main comfort. I’m not saying that her story’s not worth telling, but I’m probably not the right person to tell it. 🙂
    Theo wrote: “You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then.”
    I know. Teenagers are a twentieth-century invention. Before that, you were a child, then an adult, without that lonnnng period in between. You grew up fast whether you wished to or not. Some of Rochester’s biographers suspect that he was only fifteen or sixteen, in Paris on his Grand Tour, when he first contracted the syphillis that would eventually kill him. Too sad! When I was writing Nell’s story and considering all she’d experienced by the time she was sixteen, I’d look at my own teenaged daughter and her friends and just shake my head.

    Reply
  67. Susan replying:
    Cristina wrote: “Will you be writing a novel about Catherine, too, Susan?”
    Don’t know, which is not to say I won’t –only that I don’t really think beyond the next book. *g*
    But Catherine would be challenge. Like the majority of royal princesses married off to kings they’d never met, her story wouldn’t be a particularly cheerful one. Although she lived in a palace, her life was a difficult one, filled with disappointment and regret, with her faith as her main comfort. I’m not saying that her story’s not worth telling, but I’m probably not the right person to tell it. 🙂
    Theo wrote: “You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then.”
    I know. Teenagers are a twentieth-century invention. Before that, you were a child, then an adult, without that lonnnng period in between. You grew up fast whether you wished to or not. Some of Rochester’s biographers suspect that he was only fifteen or sixteen, in Paris on his Grand Tour, when he first contracted the syphillis that would eventually kill him. Too sad! When I was writing Nell’s story and considering all she’d experienced by the time she was sixteen, I’d look at my own teenaged daughter and her friends and just shake my head.

    Reply
  68. Susan replying:
    Cristina wrote: “Will you be writing a novel about Catherine, too, Susan?”
    Don’t know, which is not to say I won’t –only that I don’t really think beyond the next book. *g*
    But Catherine would be challenge. Like the majority of royal princesses married off to kings they’d never met, her story wouldn’t be a particularly cheerful one. Although she lived in a palace, her life was a difficult one, filled with disappointment and regret, with her faith as her main comfort. I’m not saying that her story’s not worth telling, but I’m probably not the right person to tell it. 🙂
    Theo wrote: “You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then.”
    I know. Teenagers are a twentieth-century invention. Before that, you were a child, then an adult, without that lonnnng period in between. You grew up fast whether you wished to or not. Some of Rochester’s biographers suspect that he was only fifteen or sixteen, in Paris on his Grand Tour, when he first contracted the syphillis that would eventually kill him. Too sad! When I was writing Nell’s story and considering all she’d experienced by the time she was sixteen, I’d look at my own teenaged daughter and her friends and just shake my head.

    Reply
  69. Susan replying:
    Cristina wrote: “Will you be writing a novel about Catherine, too, Susan?”
    Don’t know, which is not to say I won’t –only that I don’t really think beyond the next book. *g*
    But Catherine would be challenge. Like the majority of royal princesses married off to kings they’d never met, her story wouldn’t be a particularly cheerful one. Although she lived in a palace, her life was a difficult one, filled with disappointment and regret, with her faith as her main comfort. I’m not saying that her story’s not worth telling, but I’m probably not the right person to tell it. 🙂
    Theo wrote: “You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then.”
    I know. Teenagers are a twentieth-century invention. Before that, you were a child, then an adult, without that lonnnng period in between. You grew up fast whether you wished to or not. Some of Rochester’s biographers suspect that he was only fifteen or sixteen, in Paris on his Grand Tour, when he first contracted the syphillis that would eventually kill him. Too sad! When I was writing Nell’s story and considering all she’d experienced by the time she was sixteen, I’d look at my own teenaged daughter and her friends and just shake my head.

    Reply
  70. Susan replying:
    Cristina wrote: “Will you be writing a novel about Catherine, too, Susan?”
    Don’t know, which is not to say I won’t –only that I don’t really think beyond the next book. *g*
    But Catherine would be challenge. Like the majority of royal princesses married off to kings they’d never met, her story wouldn’t be a particularly cheerful one. Although she lived in a palace, her life was a difficult one, filled with disappointment and regret, with her faith as her main comfort. I’m not saying that her story’s not worth telling, but I’m probably not the right person to tell it. 🙂
    Theo wrote: “You know, it always amazes me how very young the children really were then.”
    I know. Teenagers are a twentieth-century invention. Before that, you were a child, then an adult, without that lonnnng period in between. You grew up fast whether you wished to or not. Some of Rochester’s biographers suspect that he was only fifteen or sixteen, in Paris on his Grand Tour, when he first contracted the syphillis that would eventually kill him. Too sad! When I was writing Nell’s story and considering all she’d experienced by the time she was sixteen, I’d look at my own teenaged daughter and her friends and just shake my head.

    Reply
  71. Oh, Susan, I’m with Theo, I do love that first chapter. Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp? Hard to tell from that picture, LOL!
    Even if I don’t win the contest (hint, hint), I’ll going to be buying this book.

    Reply
  72. Oh, Susan, I’m with Theo, I do love that first chapter. Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp? Hard to tell from that picture, LOL!
    Even if I don’t win the contest (hint, hint), I’ll going to be buying this book.

    Reply
  73. Oh, Susan, I’m with Theo, I do love that first chapter. Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp? Hard to tell from that picture, LOL!
    Even if I don’t win the contest (hint, hint), I’ll going to be buying this book.

    Reply
  74. Oh, Susan, I’m with Theo, I do love that first chapter. Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp? Hard to tell from that picture, LOL!
    Even if I don’t win the contest (hint, hint), I’ll going to be buying this book.

    Reply
  75. Oh, Susan, I’m with Theo, I do love that first chapter. Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp? Hard to tell from that picture, LOL!
    Even if I don’t win the contest (hint, hint), I’ll going to be buying this book.

    Reply
  76. I forgot to add to please remove me from the book draw. 🙂
    Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.

    Reply
  77. I forgot to add to please remove me from the book draw. 🙂
    Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.

    Reply
  78. I forgot to add to please remove me from the book draw. 🙂
    Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.

    Reply
  79. I forgot to add to please remove me from the book draw. 🙂
    Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.

    Reply
  80. I forgot to add to please remove me from the book draw. 🙂
    Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.

    Reply
  81. Susan here again:
    Connie wrote: “Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp?”
    Well, the real earl was much taller (especially for the 17th century), nearly as tall as the king, so a bit over six feet. He was also younger. Rochester had already died by the age that Johnny was when he played him. But he was always regarded as a “beautiful and comely” man, so supply any image that fits!
    Jane George wrote: “Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.”
    Yes, it is. I’m leery of playing medical inquest-across-the-centuries (for which I have no qualifications at all!), but it certainly seems likely that Rochester’s erratic behavior was a result of both venereal disease and alcoholism. Moralists may say he got what he deserved, but to me he still seems a tragic figure, and one who squandred enormous gifts and talents

    Reply
  82. Susan here again:
    Connie wrote: “Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp?”
    Well, the real earl was much taller (especially for the 17th century), nearly as tall as the king, so a bit over six feet. He was also younger. Rochester had already died by the age that Johnny was when he played him. But he was always regarded as a “beautiful and comely” man, so supply any image that fits!
    Jane George wrote: “Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.”
    Yes, it is. I’m leery of playing medical inquest-across-the-centuries (for which I have no qualifications at all!), but it certainly seems likely that Rochester’s erratic behavior was a result of both venereal disease and alcoholism. Moralists may say he got what he deserved, but to me he still seems a tragic figure, and one who squandred enormous gifts and talents

    Reply
  83. Susan here again:
    Connie wrote: “Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp?”
    Well, the real earl was much taller (especially for the 17th century), nearly as tall as the king, so a bit over six feet. He was also younger. Rochester had already died by the age that Johnny was when he played him. But he was always regarded as a “beautiful and comely” man, so supply any image that fits!
    Jane George wrote: “Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.”
    Yes, it is. I’m leery of playing medical inquest-across-the-centuries (for which I have no qualifications at all!), but it certainly seems likely that Rochester’s erratic behavior was a result of both venereal disease and alcoholism. Moralists may say he got what he deserved, but to me he still seems a tragic figure, and one who squandred enormous gifts and talents

    Reply
  84. Susan here again:
    Connie wrote: “Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp?”
    Well, the real earl was much taller (especially for the 17th century), nearly as tall as the king, so a bit over six feet. He was also younger. Rochester had already died by the age that Johnny was when he played him. But he was always regarded as a “beautiful and comely” man, so supply any image that fits!
    Jane George wrote: “Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.”
    Yes, it is. I’m leery of playing medical inquest-across-the-centuries (for which I have no qualifications at all!), but it certainly seems likely that Rochester’s erratic behavior was a result of both venereal disease and alcoholism. Moralists may say he got what he deserved, but to me he still seems a tragic figure, and one who squandred enormous gifts and talents

    Reply
  85. Susan here again:
    Connie wrote: “Now tell us if Rochester grows up to look like Johnny Depp?”
    Well, the real earl was much taller (especially for the 17th century), nearly as tall as the king, so a bit over six feet. He was also younger. Rochester had already died by the age that Johnny was when he played him. But he was always regarded as a “beautiful and comely” man, so supply any image that fits!
    Jane George wrote: “Is there any connection between Rochester’s contracting the disease so young and his subsequent behavior? Interesting possibility.”
    Yes, it is. I’m leery of playing medical inquest-across-the-centuries (for which I have no qualifications at all!), but it certainly seems likely that Rochester’s erratic behavior was a result of both venereal disease and alcoholism. Moralists may say he got what he deserved, but to me he still seems a tragic figure, and one who squandred enormous gifts and talents

    Reply
  86. This makes the movie ‘The Libertine’ sound much more intriguing, even if they didn’t get it quite right. For a (presumably) healthy young person to manage to destroy themselves by 33 (without the use of guns, accident, or some such) is very sad, especially if that person was so brilliant and well-loved.
    And – what happens to an enormous sterling silver bed when the owner doesn’t need it anymore? I can’t imagine it would do well in a pawnshop… *g*

    Reply
  87. This makes the movie ‘The Libertine’ sound much more intriguing, even if they didn’t get it quite right. For a (presumably) healthy young person to manage to destroy themselves by 33 (without the use of guns, accident, or some such) is very sad, especially if that person was so brilliant and well-loved.
    And – what happens to an enormous sterling silver bed when the owner doesn’t need it anymore? I can’t imagine it would do well in a pawnshop… *g*

    Reply
  88. This makes the movie ‘The Libertine’ sound much more intriguing, even if they didn’t get it quite right. For a (presumably) healthy young person to manage to destroy themselves by 33 (without the use of guns, accident, or some such) is very sad, especially if that person was so brilliant and well-loved.
    And – what happens to an enormous sterling silver bed when the owner doesn’t need it anymore? I can’t imagine it would do well in a pawnshop… *g*

    Reply
  89. This makes the movie ‘The Libertine’ sound much more intriguing, even if they didn’t get it quite right. For a (presumably) healthy young person to manage to destroy themselves by 33 (without the use of guns, accident, or some such) is very sad, especially if that person was so brilliant and well-loved.
    And – what happens to an enormous sterling silver bed when the owner doesn’t need it anymore? I can’t imagine it would do well in a pawnshop… *g*

    Reply
  90. This makes the movie ‘The Libertine’ sound much more intriguing, even if they didn’t get it quite right. For a (presumably) healthy young person to manage to destroy themselves by 33 (without the use of guns, accident, or some such) is very sad, especially if that person was so brilliant and well-loved.
    And – what happens to an enormous sterling silver bed when the owner doesn’t need it anymore? I can’t imagine it would do well in a pawnshop… *g*

    Reply
  91. What an interesting interview and discussion. I do love blogs…*g*.
    Haven’t really read much about Charles II, but have always been interested in English history and your books sound like good reads. Much more fun to read the fictionalized stories than history books. I will gladly let you do the research….*g*.

    Reply
  92. What an interesting interview and discussion. I do love blogs…*g*.
    Haven’t really read much about Charles II, but have always been interested in English history and your books sound like good reads. Much more fun to read the fictionalized stories than history books. I will gladly let you do the research….*g*.

    Reply
  93. What an interesting interview and discussion. I do love blogs…*g*.
    Haven’t really read much about Charles II, but have always been interested in English history and your books sound like good reads. Much more fun to read the fictionalized stories than history books. I will gladly let you do the research….*g*.

    Reply
  94. What an interesting interview and discussion. I do love blogs…*g*.
    Haven’t really read much about Charles II, but have always been interested in English history and your books sound like good reads. Much more fun to read the fictionalized stories than history books. I will gladly let you do the research….*g*.

    Reply
  95. What an interesting interview and discussion. I do love blogs…*g*.
    Haven’t really read much about Charles II, but have always been interested in English history and your books sound like good reads. Much more fun to read the fictionalized stories than history books. I will gladly let you do the research….*g*.

    Reply
  96. Another little interesting aside here…I was watching a TV program two or three nights ago regarding torture devices, how they were made, what each one was for and they brought up Charles and the fact that, when he came to power, the puritans, who had been so fond of a variety of odd devices made in order to keep their follower’s beliefs ‘in line’, did away with most all of those, bringing a much more “relaxed and carefree attitude to his people”. Not that it’s all that interesting to anyone else, but I found it so, and am surprised that I have been hearing more little tidbits about him from the most unlikely sources since part one of this interview.

    Reply
  97. Another little interesting aside here…I was watching a TV program two or three nights ago regarding torture devices, how they were made, what each one was for and they brought up Charles and the fact that, when he came to power, the puritans, who had been so fond of a variety of odd devices made in order to keep their follower’s beliefs ‘in line’, did away with most all of those, bringing a much more “relaxed and carefree attitude to his people”. Not that it’s all that interesting to anyone else, but I found it so, and am surprised that I have been hearing more little tidbits about him from the most unlikely sources since part one of this interview.

    Reply
  98. Another little interesting aside here…I was watching a TV program two or three nights ago regarding torture devices, how they were made, what each one was for and they brought up Charles and the fact that, when he came to power, the puritans, who had been so fond of a variety of odd devices made in order to keep their follower’s beliefs ‘in line’, did away with most all of those, bringing a much more “relaxed and carefree attitude to his people”. Not that it’s all that interesting to anyone else, but I found it so, and am surprised that I have been hearing more little tidbits about him from the most unlikely sources since part one of this interview.

    Reply
  99. Another little interesting aside here…I was watching a TV program two or three nights ago regarding torture devices, how they were made, what each one was for and they brought up Charles and the fact that, when he came to power, the puritans, who had been so fond of a variety of odd devices made in order to keep their follower’s beliefs ‘in line’, did away with most all of those, bringing a much more “relaxed and carefree attitude to his people”. Not that it’s all that interesting to anyone else, but I found it so, and am surprised that I have been hearing more little tidbits about him from the most unlikely sources since part one of this interview.

    Reply
  100. Another little interesting aside here…I was watching a TV program two or three nights ago regarding torture devices, how they were made, what each one was for and they brought up Charles and the fact that, when he came to power, the puritans, who had been so fond of a variety of odd devices made in order to keep their follower’s beliefs ‘in line’, did away with most all of those, bringing a much more “relaxed and carefree attitude to his people”. Not that it’s all that interesting to anyone else, but I found it so, and am surprised that I have been hearing more little tidbits about him from the most unlikely sources since part one of this interview.

    Reply
  101. I am so glad that your next book is about Louise. I don’t know that much about her other than the crying, gambling French women shown in the BBC production with Rufus Sewell. If you had not mentioned that it was the next book, I would have been asking if you would write about her!
    I love the Restoration period for two of the big events, the Plague and the Fire of London. And the change from the Puritain times to the frivolous, licentious court, all in the space of a few years really.

    Reply
  102. I am so glad that your next book is about Louise. I don’t know that much about her other than the crying, gambling French women shown in the BBC production with Rufus Sewell. If you had not mentioned that it was the next book, I would have been asking if you would write about her!
    I love the Restoration period for two of the big events, the Plague and the Fire of London. And the change from the Puritain times to the frivolous, licentious court, all in the space of a few years really.

    Reply
  103. I am so glad that your next book is about Louise. I don’t know that much about her other than the crying, gambling French women shown in the BBC production with Rufus Sewell. If you had not mentioned that it was the next book, I would have been asking if you would write about her!
    I love the Restoration period for two of the big events, the Plague and the Fire of London. And the change from the Puritain times to the frivolous, licentious court, all in the space of a few years really.

    Reply
  104. I am so glad that your next book is about Louise. I don’t know that much about her other than the crying, gambling French women shown in the BBC production with Rufus Sewell. If you had not mentioned that it was the next book, I would have been asking if you would write about her!
    I love the Restoration period for two of the big events, the Plague and the Fire of London. And the change from the Puritain times to the frivolous, licentious court, all in the space of a few years really.

    Reply
  105. I am so glad that your next book is about Louise. I don’t know that much about her other than the crying, gambling French women shown in the BBC production with Rufus Sewell. If you had not mentioned that it was the next book, I would have been asking if you would write about her!
    I love the Restoration period for two of the big events, the Plague and the Fire of London. And the change from the Puritain times to the frivolous, licentious court, all in the space of a few years really.

    Reply

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