This has been one of my favourite historical novels ever since I first read it as an undergraduate many, many years ago. I really loved the no nonsense heroine, Prudence and her adventures in Restoration London first as the resident of a brothel during the plague and then later as a reinvented actress and royal mistress, Peg Hughes. I also really loved the bizarre romance between Prudence/Peg and Henry King, who also isn’t quite what he seems to be.
There is a far better review of it than I could hope to write on Misfit’s blog.
Margaret or Peg Hughes, was a real person and actually did tread the boards and become the mistress of Prince Rupert. Her painting by Lely is really quite lovely:
As is this one by Wissing: