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A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter

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     A Pledge of Better Times is a story of ambition, treachery, and passion incorporating 17th century historical figures, royalty, and events.

     The real people whose lives inspired the story are:

~Lady Diana de Vere, a renowned beauty of the royal court
~Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans, bastard son of King Charles II and actress Nell Gwyn
~Diana's father Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford, military officer and courtier
~Charles's uncle James II, a stubborn and uncompromising monarch
~Princess Mary of Orange, later Queen Mary II of England
~her husband Prince William, later King William III, who seizes her father's throne
~her sister Princess Anne, who stubbornly flouts royal authority

     For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II’s tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—also rebels against his newly crowned uncle’s manipulation. Political and religious turmoil bring revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to from war to claim his promised bride. As companion to Queen Mary Stuart, Diana has followed her de Vere forbears into royal service. She expects Charles to abandon his military career after marriage, but he proves unwilling to join the ranks of the courtiers he despises and mistrusts.

     In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement—or their happiness.

(Includes Book Group Discussion Guide.)

     Tracing these characters' paths through history has been a fascinating journey! To see the places where they lived, loved, quarreled, visit my Fact into Fiction page.

     My previously published novels take place chiefly in England or Ireland during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They feature dukes and duchesses, lords and ladies as well as people associated with the theatre--opera singer, actress, dancer. I've written about miners and maids and musicians. The main characters are fictional, but many lesser or walk-on characters are real people (the Prince of Wales, Jane Austen, Joseph Grimaldi.) These stories are set in London or Bristol or Bath, the countryside, or more obscure regions (the Isle of Man.) They were published in hardcover, in paperback, and in various foreign languages. Many are now becoming available digitally, as Ebooks. Complete information here.

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