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Royal Sisters: The Story of the Daughters of James II (Haunted Sisters) Paperback – March 1, 2011

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Royal Sisters: The Story of the Daughters of James II (Haunted Sisters) + Courting Her Highness: The Story of Queen Anne + The Three Crowns: The Story of William and Mary
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Editorial Reviews

Review

 
“Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama.”—New York Times

About the Author

JEAN PLAIDY is the pen name of the prolific English author Eleanor Hibbert, also known as Victoria Holt. Royal Sisters is the sixth book in her seven-book series on the Stuarts. More than fourteen million copies of her books have sold worldwide.
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Product Details

  • Series: Haunted Sisters
  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307719529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307719522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alex on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jean Plaidy does herself better with this book than the previous one of the series, The Three Crowns: The Story of William and Mary. This book really explored William and Mary more. Mary was less wooden and more realistic. William was wooden, but it worked rather than hindering the book because it was a part of his personality. Beforehand it was just annoying. I also felt that Anne was explained well in this book. Before she felt like an extra in this wild play. The only character to annoying me, was Sarah Churchill, but this was all for the benefit of the book because she was just that abrasive and nasty.

It's not all hunky dory though. She does repeat herself a lot in the book, and could have shortened it by a few pages if she'd not have done that. And when she uses a certain term it's just weird because of how we think of it today.

Once you get past those though it's a good story, and a huge pick me up from the last book.

But I will say that my edition had typos galore and I'm not sure if some parts the history was off, or if it was bad editing or what because it didn't make any sense. I don't have the book off hand right now to point it out, but those who know the story well will probably notice a few spots. This can really detract from the book if you're a stickler for that type of thing. If you're looking for a good book to relax to it won't so much.

Worth taking the time out to read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Lederman on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have been reading Victoria Holt/Jean Plaidy since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I am a huge fan not only of historical fiction but I also read non-fiction biographies and factual books about historical eras (mainly,but not exclusively, Western European). I tend to become interested in a particular period of time and find myself searching for and reading quite an amount of literature concerning it. In addition to this, I enjoy surfing the web for portraits, photographs of geographical areas or estates, etc.

I was very pleased with this book. Plaidy is able to present historically factual events placed within credible fictional surroundings. Her portrayals of historical personalities are not mere fictional imaginings - they are based on extensive research of the people, events and cultural/social milieu of that era.

It is very hard for most people who access Amazon on the internet to really understand the personal impact of what a monarchy was like at that time. Religion, politics, money, demeanor: life and death depended on many decisions made by people at that time, especially those of the royal family. If Mary and Anne appear to be "wooden" in this book, remember that the revolution which resulted in the execution of the king was still a real, viable event of which the royalty were unsure if it were to recur at any point in time. It was not only the King who was beheaded - it was their Grandfather.

Even if the reigning monarch was not particularly a religious person (such as Charles II), religion had a powerful impact on the minds and bodies of people in that time. Both Catholics and Protestants were deeply affected by the concept of Hell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carol Cope on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
At the time Plaidy wrote this novel, the letters that Princess Mary wrote to Frances Apsley as a teenager were thought to have been written later to her husband William of Orange. Mary had a major crush on her girlfriend Frances and her letters were written in the overwrought style of the day. She accused Frances, whom she called her husband, of neglecting her, etc. These letters have lead some historians to say that Mary was a lesbian and lead earlier historians to make William out to be some kind of monster for his supposed treatment of Mary. (Their real correspondence shows a relatively happy marriage for a royal marriage of the day.)
It's not Plaidy's fault that she was mislead by some historians' mistake. However, this is one of the most wooden of her historical novels and that costs it a few more stars.
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Plaidy pens an intimate look at Mary and Anne Stuart, sisters who both reigned as Queens of England. Mary and Anne have both been raised Protestant, whereas their father is Catholic to the bone. When England's citizens choose the sisters over the father, they choose a course that the nation will follow to the present.

The novel opens with Charles II on the throne, his brother, James, is his heir. Charles is crafty. To that end, he has ensured his nieces have been raised in the Anglican faith. Mary is married and living in Holland with her husband, William. Eighteen-year-old Anne entertains a secret liaison with John Sheffield, Earl Mulgrave. When Charles discovers what Anne's been up to, he goes about finding her a husband and settles on George of Sweden. Anne is happy enough in her marriage and she tries to secure an heir.
Charles dies and James comes to the throne, but the British people are apprehensive due to his open practice of Catholism. When his wife becomes pregnant and gives birth to the Prince of Wales, the British find any excuse to send him packing. The Glorious Revolution occurs. James flees England and his daughter, Mary, along with her husband, ascends to the throne.

Mary is gracious and an apt Queen Regina, but she is sadden over her loveless marriage. That's not her only problem. Mary is unable to draw close to Anne due to Sarah Churchill's interference - and Anne refuses to forsake Sarah's friendship. With Mary childless, she realizes the heir to the throne after Anne is Anne's young son, William, but can the sisters find peace between them so as to secure the Anglican/Protestant succession for future generations?

Plaidy's love for the British monarchy shines in "Royal Sisters." She's done her research and it shows.
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Royal Sisters: The Story of the Daughters of James II (Haunted Sisters)
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