Charlotte Bill is a nanny with the most prestigious appointment imaginable…Tending the children of the Duke and Duchess of York…children in line for the throne of England. The world of the royals is full of jewels, and gold, and glamour-but it’s speckled with deep dark secrets, and the cold comforts of a royal home-and Charlotte is quickly realizing that these children need her love and care more than she could have possibly imagined.
Despite the challenges, Charlotte, nicknamed Miss Lala by the children, spends years of her life raising an entire generation of children, sacrificing her own chances at love, home and hearth for a duty which has become her greatest life accomplishment. Charlotte sacrifices everything to ensure that the children, especially the last born son, Little Prince John, are safe and cherished until adulthood. No matter what it takes or who she will lose from her own life.
Stretching from 1897 through 1959, The Royal Nanny, by Karen Harper, tells the tale of a devoted nanny, and the details of royal family life. If you like historical fiction, especially the royal variety like Philippa Gregory, you will love this novel. I couldn’t put it down. Check it out!
Henry VIII was a temperamental and hot-headed ruler, and his series of wives is only one aspect of the tumultuous times portrayed in Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. The public has gone mad for the HBO series The Tudors, and the Philippa Gregory novels written about Henry’s many wives and his very famous daughters (The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Queen’s Fool, The Virgin’s Lover, The Other Queen), and much more in television and literature devoted to The Tudors’ story.
Unlike HBO’s version and even Philippa Gregory’s stories, this series, the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, delves deeply into the politics of the time and what it would have been like to survive with a tempestuous king and his tempestuous mistress (soon to be wife) Anne Boleyn, keep your nose clean while juggling your own religious views to satisfy the crown, and be a high-profile person in changing times that took as many lives as it spared. Wolf Hall is not a “sexy” novel by any means, so don’t expect intrigue and romance in this novel. This is a very serious account, dealing with martyrdom and the deaths of many people who may not have deserved their fates. Be warned.
We all know that our Founding Fathers were, for the most part, very human and flawed. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson top the list with sex scandals of their own, but many don’t realize that our beloved Benjamin Franklin, inventor of the Lightning Rod, Bifocal lenses, and the urinary catheter, had his own scandals to live with. For a start, good old scholarly and political Ben had an “illegitimate” son with a woman whose identity is unknown in present time. Benjamin Franklin acknowledged this child as his own and he was called William Franklin.
The story of the relationship between Benjamin Franklin and his son, William, is the storyline for Sally Cabot’s novel, Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard. The author takes creative liberty in regards to the mystery woman who is William’s mother, making her a serving girl in a pub, and tracing her life as she pines for her son, but cannot provide for him on her own, so remains a stranger to him, watching from afar, but the strife between William and Benjamin is likely to be close to accurate, as William was a self-proclaimed Loyalist to the British crown, and Benjamin wanted the New World to have its freedom at last. The two men went separate ways and were great men in their own ways, also. The parallels between the lives of both men, and the differences between them make for an excellent story with a lot of historical backbone that anyone who loves American History will love.
This novel is not humorous or romantic, but an excellent portrayal of what it might have been like as the son of Benjamin Franklin, founding father, brilliant inventor and philosopher, and legend.