The King's Mistress by Emma Campion

The King's Mistress

History has not been kind to Alice Perrers, the notorious mistress of King Edward III. Scholars and contemporaries alike have deemed her a manipulative woman who used her great beauty and sensuality to take advantage of an aging and increasingly senile king. But who was the woman behind the scandal? A cold-hearted opportunist or someone fighting for her very survival?Like most girls of her era Alice is taught obedience in all things. At the age o...

Details The King's Mistress

TitleThe King's Mistress
Release DateJun 25th, 2010
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance, European Literature, British Literature, Medieval

Reviews The King's Mistress

  • Misfit
    Daughter of a wealthy London merchant, Alice catches the eye of Janyn Perrers and the two marry despite her mother’s rather irrational objections. The marriage is definitely a love match, but Janyn and his mother have a deep dark secret that has something to do with the dowager Queen Isabella and while it has brought them great wealth, it also brings great danger to those who keep the old Queen’s secrets. When Janyn mysteriously disappears (n...
  • Tea Jovanović
    Read it, enjoyed it... but would not recommend it for translation... Something is lacking... Philippa Gregory is much better... But I will follow the author...
  • Moppet
    In this novel Alice Perrers, a merchant’s daughter who became mistress to the much older Edward III, tells her own story. I can’t argue with Emma Campion's decision to take a revisionist approach to Alice, who has gone down in history as ambitious, grasping and greedy. Mistresses were often demonised and blamed for all the ills of the country: it was, in fact, one of their functions to be a scapegoat and divert criticism which would otherwise...
  • Jen
    Did you ever think I would like this? Every once in a while someone suggests that since I like history so much I would like [insert name of recent historical fiction phenom here] and I gently say "it's not really my thing..." So in the spirit of fictionpalooza, I decided to test "what was my thing."This isn't my thing. First off, the cover pictured here is not what is in the book from the library that showed up on my nook. Instead it is every his...
  • Natasa
    King’s Mistress is okay fiction. Alice is sympathetic, it’s easy to get caught up in her story, and if you want to escape to another place and time, this book can be a door.
  • Jenny Q
    There are a couple of things that make crafting a believable, romantic fictional account of Alice Perrer's story hard to do. First, the author has her work cut out for her in trying to persuade the reader that Alice is not as bad as her contemporaries made her out to be. History has accused Alice of taking advantage of a senile king for her own financial and political gain, and of usurping the position of a beloved dead queen, taking her place be...
  • Bree T
    Apparently Alice Perrers is some sort of notorious figure of her time but given my lack of knowledge on Yorks and Lancasters and Tudors and whatever, I’d never heard of her. I read a highly praising review of The King’s Mistress on a book review blog and given my enjoyment of both The Other Boelyn Girl and The White Queen I ordered this in from my local library.When the book opens Alice is barely 12 but ready to be paraded in Church in a pret...
  • Bookish Ally
    As women of the modern age we often take for granted our rights - to choose who we marry, to own property, to participate in the direction of our lives and in the lives of our children. While Emma Campion does use a large amount of the artistic license allowed in historical fiction,her telling of the life of Alice Perrers does illustrate the fact that women of this time lacked choice and, therefore, their fates were determined by the men in their...
  • The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
    There are always two sides to every story. Of course, when considering the story of women in history - especially those women who've been considered scandalous - the only stories we tend to hear are from those who have the proverbial axe to grind. Such has been the fate of Alice Perrers, the infamous mistress of King Edward III. History hasn't been kind towards her, claiming that her manipulation of an old man, and her greed was nearly bankrupted...
  • MBP
    I had mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed the writing style, and learning more about Alice Perrers' eventful life. I'm not especially well read on this period of history, but it's clearly a revisionist portrait of Alice, and I think the author sometimes wrote herself into a corner in her attempts to make Alice a sympathetic character. I also think there was too much "telling" and not enough "showing," and there was very little in the book ab...
  • Brenda
    Wow! What a book!! Cudo's to this author, she has taken a story of Alice Perrers (known mistress) of King Edward III, and has woven a can't put down book so rich in history and so readable. There are books that you pick up and sort of skim through, not this one. I would have to slow myself down again and read as many of the words as I could, so I wouldn't miss anything. You'll not find yourself bored with this book. I was just so disappointed whe...
  • Terra
    The cover on this book looks fabulous and believe me the story in between is equally captivating. The story is paced perfectly from beginning to end and leaves you wondering how people could actually live like this at any time period.There is so much that goes on with the story here of Alice Salisbury and it shows you the innocence, kindness, love, anger, hatred and so many more emotions that we as humans take for granted every day without though...
  • JG (The Introverted Reader)
    "When had I a choice to be other than I was?"So begins this fictional autobiography of Alice Perrars' life. And that's about where I stopped caring overly much.That's harsher than I mean to be, because the book was okay, but I have very, very little tolerance for excuses. And this was a running theme throughout the book. That's where my biggest problem lay.I have to say that I don't recall ever coming across Alice Perrars before. She was married ...
  • Jessica at Book Sake
    I’ll admit, I don’t know much about history. I had never heard of Alice Perrers and was unaware that she was a real person when I began this book. The tale is fictional, but it is written by Emma Campion who “did her graduate work in medieval and Anglo-Saxon literature and is the world's foremost scholar on Alice Perrers.” So I can only imagine that Perrers lived an extraordinary life.The book was very well written and Campion put in such...
  • Megan
    3.5* The handling of the historical events was fine and the book read well. My issues are mainly with the perfection of the main character: I knew going in that the book would be sympathetic to Alice, which is fine, but she was such a Mary Sue. Multiple men in love with her at a time, captures the heart of rakes, knows what to say to everyone, beautiful, beloved by children, loves animals... it just goes on. Hardly anything was ever her fault, an...
  • Michelle (True Book Addict) Miller
    This was such a great book. My first real foray into the life of King Edward III and his mistress, Alice Perrers and it was quite enthralling. Campion does an excellent job of portraying the plight of a woman in the 14th century. Women had so very little choice of who they would marry. And then, if the king wants you as his mistress, well then you better bow to his wishes. Alice had no choice in any aspect of her life...everything was decided for...
  • Cherie
    Initially, I had hope...I had hoped that this might be a book full of good juicy twists and sublime characters that are interesting and witty to outsmart the readers, obviously I was wrong.The story was lacking in a powerful narrative sense, and the moral of the story was almost non-existent. I often wondered whilst reading this book if I'd just wasted my money on something that to-this-day, I still do not understand.I now know that I wanted to s...
  • Angela Johnson
    There were times I thought the writing was a little simple perhaps? Or maybe rather that the character's thoughts were simple? But wow what a development! And Emma Campion has an awesome imagination to have created such a story with so few details. Kudos to her for giving recognition that a commoner and a woman would probably have had little choice in the roles she was cast and shining light on the little control women had over their own life! Ve...
  • Emma
    I really enjoyed this book. It's not a period of history that I've ever studied or read about previously so I was able to read this book as a work of fiction while learning something of the history of the period. This made it a very good book to read and has encouraged me to read more about this period instead of generally focusing on historical fiction from the Tudor period
  • Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
    I really enjoyed this book. In history, I've not been a fan of Alice but I've enjoyed her in fiction. It's easy to forget that notorious women are written into history through the eyes of men.. Usually men who have reason to dislike the woman. The only other book I've read about Alice was by Anne O'Brien (which was one of my favorites by the author). Anyway, in that book, Alice was portrayed as shrewd, ambitious and ruthless up until the end whil...
  • Allie
    Alice Perrers, a commoner born into a family of merchants, was the notorious mistress of King Edward III of England. She has gone down in history as an oft-reviled woman who didn't know her place among a court full of her "betters", most of whom came from families that could claim ancient noble descent. Alice was a new historical character for me and I enjoyed reading this fictionalized account of her side of the story. The author bio listed for ...
  • Lauren
    On the jacket of the King's Mistress (I had an ARC), Emma Campion describes herself as the world's foremost authority on Alice Perrers. Thus, I had great expectations for this novel in terms of historical accuracy. What I found, however, was a novel that was decidedly fiction. I do not claim to be an expert on Alice Perrers - what little I know of her is based on the unflattering references to her in Katherine. However, it is obvious that the fic...
  • Martina Sartor
    Attraverso la figura di Alice Perrers, realmente esistita, l'autrice ricostruisce un'intensa fase della storia inglese, dominata dalla figura di Edoardo 3° (di cui Alice diverrà l'amante) e da guerre d'espansione come la guerra dei cent'anni contro la Francia.La Robb ricostruisce un'interessante figura di donna che cerca di prendere in mano il suo destino, ma che in realtà è costretta a seguire la linea che altri hanno deciso per lei. Il suo ...
  • Jessica
    I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author painted her characters well. You really had a feel for the times, period, and the heroine. Alice Perrers was perhaps misjudged through history (she's hardly the first woman that happened too); but in The King's Mistress Campion, raises some good questions, and presents some wonderful new theories! Dame Alice is shown to have very few choices in the way her life turned out. Could she have chosen to ...
  • Rio (Lynne)
    2.5 stars. I went into this not knowing about Alice Perrers or much about this time period, except about Queen Isabella overthrowing her husband Edward II. After researching (what you can find) on Alice, this novel was mostly fictional. It started out strong, but got weak to me after 100 pages. Alice's father married her to Janyn Perrers who had unrealistic connections in my opinion to Queen Isabella. I also never understood her mother's issues w...
  • K.
    Alice Perrers is almost wholly reviled by historians, but many of her "choices" were not hers to make. Think of the time period. What woman could have refused the king and walked away unscathed? A common one, at that.However, Campion's version of her character was just a tad on the sickeningly naive side for me. Time and time again she was shown through other people, through warnings, through experiences at court that she could trust only a handf...
  • Elena
    Yes, it's a nice book to read in summer, when you're at the beach and you want to relax: however do not look for a lot of historical accuracy. In the book Alice Perrers is depicted as an innocent and naïve young girl who is suddenly and mysteriously abandoned by her lovely husband Janyn and then becomes the lover of the King of England. In my opinion, Alice is depicted by the author as a bit too innocent: she wasn't certainly nor the She-Devil n...
  • Chequers
    Ormai e' diventata una moda scrivere romanzi storici come se si scrivesse su Novella 2000:l'idea, quella di dare voce ad Alice Perrers, e' ottima, e lo svolgimento della storia e' molto interessante, peccato che il linguaggio non e' proprio all'altezza!
  • Nicki
    I loved this book. It's not an era of history I know much about, so I didn't know Alice's story before. This is a different viewpoint and very well done. A lovely read and will probably appeal to anyone who likes good historical fiction.