Book Review: Girl on the Golden Coin
Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart by Marci Jefferson
This book follows a true beauty by the name of Frances Stuart during the time of Charles II and the famous “Sun King”, Louis XIV in his French court. She was known for being one of the most fashionable and stunning ladies of BOTH courts and is most known for turning down two Kings to be a Duchess and not a mistress whilst being the literal face of Britannia on the English currency!!
This book has all the sex, scandal and politics of this period.
After the sad, beheading of Charles I, a lot of nobility had to flee from England to France for safety. This included the young and very beautiful Frances Stuart. Similarly, the youngest princess, Henrietta of England, flees to France with her mother. As Frances and Henrietta are almost identical ages, Frances becomes Henrietta’s favourite lady-in-waiting and they both thrive in the French court. At this time Louis XIV was in his prime and both Henrietta and Frances are both deeply attracted to the young King. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty and she does not want to become the mistress of the French King. In order to please her friend and to keep her morals she turns down the King’s advances. Therefore, Louis, snubbed by Frances sends her away to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and secure an alliance between the two countries. Not an easy task.
In England it is a different story. Charles II is a kind man and is captivated by Frances immediately. Although Frances has the beauty and wit to keep Charles interested, she also has competition of the infamous Barbara Villiers, the Countess of Castlemaine, who was Charles’ current, extravagance mistress with a bad temper. As Frances tries to keep her promise to Louis, she finds herself falling more and more in love with the true King Charles.
Frances not only survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the men of the Restoration Court but she even survives the advances of a King!! This book tells the tale of her relationship with two kings and how she became the girl on the golden coin.