Novels about Historical Royal Mistresses

BIBLICAL


Bathsheba, mistress and later wife of King David

Jill Eileen Smith, Bathsheba

TWELFTH CENTURY


Nest of Deheubarth (Welsh princess), mistress to Henry II of England

Anne Bell, Daughter of the Dragon

Review by Sarah Johnson (Reading the Past)

Eleanor Fairburn, The Golden Hive

Review by Sarah Johnson (Reading the Past)

Margaret Mackinlay, The Pawns of Kings

Margaret Orford, Royal Mistress


Princess Alais, mistress to Henry II of England

NB: Disputed Relationship: it is not certain whether or not Alais was Henry’s mistress.

Christy English, The Queen’s Pawn

Review by Allie (Hist-Fic Chick)

Judith Koll Healey’s Princess Alais mysteries:

  1. The Canterbury Papers
  2. The Rebel Princess

Ida de Tosney, mistress to Henry II of England

Elizabeth Chadwick, The Time of Singing/For the King’s Favor

Reviewed and certified Mary-Sue free by Miss Moppet

Review by Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)

Review by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books)

Review by Katherine (A Girl Walks into a Bookstore)


FOURTEENTH CENTURY


Piers Gaveston, favourite of Edward II of England

Chris Hunt, Gaveston

Review by Alianore (Edward II)

Review by Misfit (Shelf of Shame)

Brandy Purdy, The Confession of Piers Gaveston

Eve Trevaskis, The Lord of Misrule

Review by Sarah Johnson (Reading the Past)

Review by Susan Higginbotham (Medieval Woman)

Alice Perrers, mistress to Edward III of England

Vanora Bennett, The People’s Queen

Review by Cat (Tell Me A Story)

Review by Miss Moppet (The Misadventures of Moppet)

Emma Campion, The King’s Mistress

Review by Cat (Tell Me A Story)

Review by Daphne (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books)

Review by Katherine (A girl walks into a bookstore)

Review by Miss Moppet (The Misadventures of Moppet)

Anne O’Brien, The King’s Concubine

Katherine Swynford, mistress to John of Gaunt

Judy Perry’s blog on Katherine Swynford

Anya Seton, Katherine

Review by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books)

Review by Katherine (A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore)

Review by Robinbird (The Lady Gwyn’s Kingdom)

Mariota de Athyn, mistress of Alexander Stewart, son of Robert II of Scotland (the Wolf of Badenoch)

Charles Mackie, Mariota

FIFTEENTH CENTURY


Agnes Sorel, mistress to Charles VII of France

Noel de Vic Beamish, The Sword of Love

Janice Law, All the King’s Ladies

Elizabeth “Jane” Shore, mistress to Edward IV of England

Philip Lindsay, The Merry Mistress

Post by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books) about a cover for The Merry Mistress

Jean Plaidy, The Goldsmith’s Wife/The King’s Mistress

Review by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books)

Post by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Book Covers) on a cover for The Goldsmith’s Wife

Arthur R.G. Solmssen, The Wife of Shore

Unknown mistress to Richard Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III

Vanora Bennett, Figures in Silk (also features Jane Shore)

Review by Katherine (A Girl Walks Into A Bookstore)

Anne Easter Smith, A Rose for the Crown

Review by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books)

Review by Marg and Kailana (Historical Tapestry)

SIXTEENTH CENTURY

Bessie Blount, mistress to Henry VIII of England

Diane Haeger, The Queen’s Rival

Mary Boleyn, mistress to Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England

NB: Disputed Relationship. Mary Boleyn is not portrayed as Francis’s mistress in The Other Boleyn Girl and Philippa Gregory at least thinks there is not enough evidence to prove a relationship.

Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl

Alex (Le Canapé) re-reads The Other Boleyn Girl

Review by Katherine (A Girl Walks Into A Bookstore)

Review by The Literary Omnivore

Review by Naida (The Bookworm)

Review by Robinbird (The Lady Gwyn’s Kingdom)

Karen Harper, The Last Boleyn

Review by Robinbird (The Lady Gwyn’s Kingdom)

Aileen Quigley, Court Cadenza, republished as The Tudor Sisters by Aileen Armitage

Judith Saxton, Feather Light, Diamond Bright

Diane de Poitiers, mistress to Henry II of France

Diane Haeger, Courtesan

Review by Tanzanite (Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books)

Madge Shelton, mistress to Henry VIII

NB: Disputed relationship. Henry VIII was rumoured to have taken one of Anne Boleyn’s Shelton first cousins as a mistress between February and August 1535, while Anne was pregnant. If true, there remains some confusion over whether Madge or her sister Mary was the lady in question. For more details see The Tudors Wiki page on Henry VIII’s mistresses.

Anne Clinard Barnhill, At The Mercy of the Queen


SEVENTEENTH CENTURY


Olympe Mancini, mistress to Louis XIV of France

Alison Farely, Tempestuous Countess


Louise de La Valliere, mistress to Louis XIV of France

Sandra Gulland, Mistress of the Sun

Review by Carey (The Tome Traveller)

Review by Julianne Douglas (Writing the Renaissance) and interview with Sandra Gulland

Review by Lizzy (Historically Obsessed)

Athenais de Montespan, mistress to Louis XIV of France

Catherine Decours, Aimée du Roi

Review (in French) by Woland (Les manuscrits ne brûlent pas)

Francoise de Maintenon, mistress to Louis XIV of France

NB: Disputed Relationship. Francoise de Maintenon was almost certainly married morganatically to Louis XIV (although no marriage certificate survives).  She may or may not have been his mistress prior to that.

Alice Acland, The Secret Wife

Review by Sarah Johnson (Reading the Past)

Francoise Chandernagor, L’allee du roi/The King’s Way

Lucy Walters, mistress to Charles II of England

Elizabeth Goudge, Child from the Sea

Review by Misfit (At home with a good book and the cat…)

Jane Lane, who helped Charles II escape after the battle of Worcester

NB: Disputed Relationship: it has been speculated that Jane may have been Charles’s mistress but no proof of it survives

Gillian Bagwell, The September Queen/The King’s Mistress

Review by Miss Moppet (The Misadventures of Moppet)

Nell Gwyn, mistress to Charles II of England

Gillian Bagwell, The Darling Strumpet

Review by Miss Moppet (The Misadventures of Moppet)

Gillian Bagwell’s blog on travel and research for The Darling Strumpet

Diane Haeger, The Perfect Royal Mistress: A Novel

Review by Lizzy (Historically Obsessed)

Betty King, Nell Gwyn

Priya Parmar, Exit the Actress

Review by Joanne (Books, Belles & Beaux)

Lozania Prole, The Fabulous Nell Gwynne

Lozania Prole, The Orange Girl

Lozania Prole, Pretty, Witty Nell

Lozania Prole, Sweet Nell

Susan Holloway Scott, The King’s Favorite: A Novel of Nell Gwyn and King Charles II

Review by Luan Gaines

Review by Telynor

Richard Sumner’s Nell Gwynn trilogy:

  1. Mistress of the Streets
  2. Mistress of the Boards
  3. Mistress of the King

Barbara Castlemaine, mistress to Charles II of England

Patricia Campbell Horton, Royal Mistress

Olivia Leigh, The Notorious Lady Castlemaine: The career of Barbara Villiers

Susan Holloway Scott, Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess of Castlemaine and King Charles II

Review by Alaine – Queen of Happy Endings (Royal Reviews)

Review by The Empress of Good and Evil (Royal Reviews)

Review by Luan Gaines for Curled up with a Good Book

Luan Gaines interviews Susan Holloway Scott about Royal Harlot for Curled up with a Good Book

Review by Heather (The Maiden’s Court)

Review by Joanne (Books, Belles & Beaux)

Frances Stewart, mistress to Charles II of England

Maeve Haran, The Painted Lady

Louise de Keroualle, mistress to Charles II of England

Anthony Capella, The Empress of Ice Cream

Review by Cat (Tell Me A Story)

Susan Holloway Scott, The French Mistress: A Novel of the Duchess of Portsmouth and King Charles II

Review by Luan Gaines for Curled up with a Good Book

Katherine Sedley, mistress to James II of England

Susan Holloway Scott, The Countess and the King

Review by Telynor

Review by Joanne (Books, Belles & Beaux)

Margaret “Peggy” Hughes, mistress to Prince Rupert of the Rhine

Diana Norman, The Vizard Mask

Review by Misfit (At home with a good book and the cat…)

EIGHTEENTH CENTURY


Madame de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV of France

NB: Madame de Pompadour was definitely Louis XV’s mistress.  However, in 1750 she made the transition from mistress to best friend, confidante and political adviser.

Menie Gregoire, Le bien-aimé: Memoires apocryphes de Madame de Pompadour

Marie-Louise O’Murphy, mistress to Louis XV of France

Duncan Sprott, Our Lady of the Potatoes

Review by Melanie (Madame Guillotine)

Madame du Barry, mistress to Louis XV of France

Jean Plaidy, Madame du Barry

Certified Mary Sue-free by Miss Moppet

Review by Arleigh (historical-fiction.com)

Review (in Spanish) by Descargar of the Spanish translation of Madame du Barry, Madame du Barry, amante real, for Novelas Románticas Históricas

Review (part one) by Miss Moppet (The Misadventures of Moppet)

Review (part two) by Miss Moppet (The Misadventures of Moppet). Warning – major spoilers

Mary “Perdita” Robinson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, later George IV

Amanda Elyot, All for Love

Jean Plaidy, Perdita’s Prince

NINETEENTH CENTURY


Maria Fitzherbert, mistress to the Prince of Wales, later George IV

Michael Dyne, The Glitter and the Gold

Diane Haeger, The Secret Wife of King George IV

Jean Plaidy, Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill

Lozania Prole, A Queen for the Regent

Mary Anne Clarke, mistress to Frederick, Duke of York

Daphne du Maurier, Mary Anne

Dorothy Jordan, mistress to the Duke of Clarence, later William IV

Jean Plaidy, Goddess of the Green Room

Review by Arleigh (historical-fiction.com)

Review by Ms. Lucy (Enchanted by Josephine)

Ekaterina Dolgoruky, mistress to Tsar Alexander II

Princesse Bibesco, Katia

Mathilde Kschessinska, mistress to Tsar Alexander II

Adrienne Sharp, The True Memoirs of Little K.

Review by Telynor

TWENTIETH CENTURY

Lily Langtry, mistress to Edward VIII

James Brough, The Prince and the Lily

Wallis Simpson, later the Duchess of Windsor, mistress to Edward VIII

Anne Edwards, Wallis: The Novel

Elizabeth Luard, Emerald [about Wallis's fictional secret daughter by Edward VIII]

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