Friday, June 27, 2014

G369 E-Reading Book Review of Queen of Bedlam by Laura Purcell

Name of Book: Queen of Bedlam

Author: Laura Purcell

ISBN:  9781910183014

Publisher: Myrmidon Books

Type of book: England, George III, royal family, strong female protagonists, madness, 1788-1818, choices, family vs freedom, routine vs chaos, wars

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

London 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. The King of England is going mad. Left alone with thirteen children and with the country at war, Charlotte has to fight to hold her husband’s throne. It is a time of unrest and revolutions but most of all Charlotte fears the King himself, someone she can no longer love or trust. She has lost her marriage to madness and there is nothing she can do except continue to do her royal duty.

Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it, with devastating consequences.

The moving true story of George III’s madness and the women whose lives it destroyed.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters, but the important ones include Charlotte, wife of George III who has to deal with the fact her husband isn't himself anymore as well as trying to keep her daughters with her instead of allowing them to build their own lives. She is a very strong and bitter woman. There is also Royal who tries her best to be sensitive to both her mother and father at the cost of her own desires and happiness, and there is Sophia who is impetuous and also has to make a big sacrifice when it comes to her family. She is not as sensitive as Royal, but like Royal, she also resents the way their family is and how limited they are when it comes to everything. Some minor characters include George III who has episodes of sanity and madness as well as his sons, the heir who has to make sacrifices of his own as well as Ernest who unknowingly helps his sister commit a dangerous act and also Garth who presents a choice to Sophia.

Theme:

Each choice has a sacrifice

Plot:

The book is written in third person narrative, in beginning from Charlotte and Royal's points of views, and then Sophia was added in. I did feel that Sophia was added in a little late, but other than that, a very strong book of mental illness and its effects on the royal family. The author does kind of warn when a point of view change will be occurring. The book also goes in chronological order, from 1788 up until 1818? when Charlotte passes away?

Author Information:
(From Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour)

Laura Purcell lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England. She met her husband working in Waterstones bookshop and they share their home with several pet guinea pigs.
Laura is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Society for Court Studies and Historic Royal Palaces. She has recently appeared on the PBS documentary The Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace, talking about Queen Caroline’s life at Hampton Court.
Laura’s novels explore the lives of royal women during the Georgian era, who have largely been ignored by modern history. Her debut Queen Charlotte was originally self-published as God Save the King, receiving excellent reviews as an Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction.
You can find out more about Laura and read her history blog at www.laurapurcell.com.  You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.
Opinion:

Beyond the episode with American Colonies, I didn't know anything King George III. I only knew that he is considered a mad king and that's it. I also doubt that many people have asked how has madness affected his family? His wife and daughters in particular? This book answers that question as well as shows what its like to be married to someone who is thought of as insane as well as being in spotlight all the time. I have really developed pity for the characters and amazement at their fortitude and survival during those times. The most amazing part of the book is characterization and how I understood why they changed the way they did.

Buy the Book

This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, June 9
Guest Post at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, June 11
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, June 12
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Friday, June 13
Review at Reading the Past
Monday, June 16
Review & Interview at Kincavel Korner
Tuesday, June 17
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, June 18
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, June 19
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Monday, June 23
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, June 24
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, June 25
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, June 27
Review at The True Book Addict
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, June 30
Guest Post at Kincavel Korner
Wednesday, July 2
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Thursday, July 10
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, July 14
Review at Kelsey’s Book Corner
Tuesday, July 15
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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