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Although the title of this book makes it sound like a trashy historical romance it is anything but. Instead it is a sympathetic biography of Henrietta Howard: the mistress of George II and a Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Caroline. The book explores Henrietta’s response to her miserable and violent marriage and how she retained enough dignity, grit and spirit to gamble her all on a trip to Hanover where she courted the attentions of the soon to be British Royal Family.

Although her speculation paid off she was still to endure years of torment from her husband, and had to learn how to balance her tricky position at court before she finally found love, rest and contentment in her later life.

Although Henrietta is a minor character in the great sweep of history her ability, despite the limited status of women at the time, to overcome great hardship, stake her claim to life as an independent woman, survive court life, and to build a serious of remarkable friendships with the leading literary and intellectual men of the age, marks her out as a feminist icon who should be more widely known than she is at present. Hopefully this book will help remedy that.

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