Restored to the British throne in 1660 after years of exile, Charles II began a reign famous for dramatic events (the Plague, the Great Fire, the Dutch Wars), the flowering of science and the arts, and for notorious sexual liaisons.
With a bevy of mistresses and flamboyantly addicted to high living, the Merry Monarch successfully presided over 'Merry Olde England' in an age of intrigue and religious dissent.
When his tolerance extended to acknowledging his illegitimate son at court, James's life changed out of all recognition. This is the story of a remarkable man, and the spectacular upheavals and reverses of the time, told through the eyes of his illegitimate son, James, Duke of Monmouth.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 544 pages
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 02/06/2003
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780747267584
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by Misfit
The King's Touch is the story of Charles II's illegitimate son Jemmy, James Duke of Monmouth. Written in the first person POV, Jemmy recounts his life story from being removed by Charles from his mother's care, through his relationship with his father and his aunt Minnette, Charles' restoration to the English Crown and finally ending at the start of the Monmouth Rebellion at Charles' death. The life and reign of Charles II and the main characters (and Charles' many mistresses) are fairly well known, and not worth rehashing further. Those looking for an action packed, bawdy romp through the Courts of Charles II should look elsewhere, this is not the book for you - I'd recommend Forever Amber. Yes, we see his mistresses and the intrigues and scandals of the Restoration period, but in lesser degree - even the plague and the great fire of London are almost afterthoughts in the story. As other reviewers have noted, what this book is about is Jemmy and his relationship with his very enigmatic father as Jemmy struggles to come to grips with his illegitimacy as others intrigue to have him declared legitimate and the true heir to the crown. As stated previously, this is not a fast paced book and one that should be read in small doses so you can sit back and savor them slowly like you would a very decadent truffle or a fine glass of red wine (or both!!). Unfortunately for me, I had this as an interlibrary loan and not renewable and found myself under the gun at the last minute to blow through 500 + pages and I feel it impacted my enjoyment of this a bit.
Review by Chatterbox
An excellent work of historical fiction! The court of Charles II seen through the eyes of his illegitimate son, 'Jemmy', aka the Duke of Monmouth. Morgan succeeds marvellously in capturing the atmosphere of the time and the characters -- Charles, who has blocked off his emotions and who ends up creating myriad problems for his beloved son as a result of his reluctance to commit to any particular course of action or listen to advisors; the wooden, dull and yet quietly ferocious James, Duke of York, and Minette, their beautiful and tragic youngest sister. Morgan's style is wonderful; his style isn't modern; neither is it archaic enough to be jarring but walks the fine line between them. What emerges is the poignant story of a naive, foolish and sometimes reckless young man (the truth emerges in between the words Jemmy chooses to recount his story, not in them); we feel sympathy for him and his fate, but never share his self-delusions. A fascinating story sure to appeal to HF buffs.