The Stranger Prince

24 August 2009

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I think that today must be Margaret Irwin Stuart Novel day here at Guillotine Towers. Next up for discussion is The Stranger Prince, which is about Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who happens to be one of the few (VERY FEW) male historical figures who is actually fanciable.

NPG 4519, Prince Rupert, Count Palatine

The Stranger Prince is primarily about Prince Rupert’s involvement in the English Civil War, when he fought for his uncle, Charles I and became a hero to the Royalist side and a scourge to the Parliamentarians. He was dashing, charming and apparently fearless; the epitome of a Cavalier in his silks and big feathered hat, with his much loved poodle Boy prancing at his side as he went into battle.

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The book is also about Rupert’s love for his uncle’s ward Lady Mary Villiers, daughter of the Duke of Buckingham and wife of his handsome, very honourable cousin, the Duke of Richmond.

James Stuart Duke of Richmond and Lennox

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Mary was one of the greatest beauties at Charles I’s court and is described by Irwin as ‘a butterfly’. She is also believed to have been a formidable poetess, known as Ephelia. She married the Duke of Richmond on the 3rd August 1637, when they were both fifteen and they had a very happy marriage until 1655, when he died.

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The Stranger Prince is a fantastic book and I really recommend that any fans of historical fiction or the English Civil War dig out a copy and give it a try.

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Here are some more portraits of Mary Villiers, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox:

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Ephelia

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Mary as a little girl with her parents and brother.

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