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The September Queen

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  330 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Set against the volatile backdrop of the English Civil War, dive into this enthralling tale of danger, bravery, and a woman who would do anything for the man she loved.

It's 1651 and Jane Lane leads a privileged life inside the walls of her family's home. At 25 years old, her parents are keen to see her settled, but Jane dreams of a union that goes beyond the advantageous m
Paperback, 389 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Berkley
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EDIT September 2013
The author's recent bad behaviour has caused me to revist this book and decide that my initial star rating of one point five should be rounded down, not up, as I was being generous, as I usually am with histfic.

Ms Bagwell contacted me on my personal Facebook to aggressively accuse me of stealing her research/pictures for my blog post (below) - which is patently untrue, as I wrote said post and scheduled it months before I ever heard of Ms Bagwell or her book. I've since been t
King Charles II is known as a playboy not having lacked in the female department. One thing is certain besides the large number of mistresses: each woman lived quite a life of her own and had admirable stories to tell. One of these women, Jane Lane, is lesser-known but played a monumental role in Charles’s life during his escape/exile helping him flee hoping to reach the coast to sail to France. Gillian Bagwell imagines her adventures in, “The September Queen”.

Those readers familiar with Bagwel
Amy Bruno
When I read and reviewed Gillian Bagwell’s first novel, The Darling Strumpet, last year I knew she would be an author to watch, and boy was I right! Gillian’s sophomore novel of the woman who helped King Charles II escape from the grasp of his enemies and return to his rightful place on the throne of England is an extraordinarily engrossing read!

At twenty-five years of age, Jane Lane still lives at home, is unmarried and unsure of what she wants in life. All she knows is that she isn’t ready to
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
This had been a "to-read" for me, but then this:

So, no. No thank you. I'll spend my hard-earned money on an author who doesn't support bullying.
Was Jane Lane really Charles II’s mistress? No one knows for sure, but what is known is that in the troubled years following the English Civil War, she risked her life to help him flee the country. Gillian Bagwell reimagines their relationship with insight and conviction: like Jason and Marie in The Bourne Identity, Jane and Charles find passion in the most dangerous of situations, where their only safety lies in trusting each other. Once they separate, the tension increases, as Jane, waiting to ...more
Rio (Lynne)
Jan 15, 2012 Rio (Lynne) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Charles II fans
First of all the cover is misleading "She saved King Charles II and stole his heart." Blame the publisher. This is not historical romance or fluff. After reading the author's notes this novel is a very well researched account of Jane Lane. She helped Charles escape England after Cromwell had his father beheaded and ended the monarchy. Jane's story was astonishing. After risking her life to help Charles, she had to escape all over again to save herself. This book takes us through the pre-king yea ...more
Darlene Williams
Nov 08, 2012 Darlene Williams rated it it was amazing
First of all, to clarify any confusion. This review is for Gillian Bagwell's The King's Mistress, which is the title I read and refer to. This is the UK title. The US title for this novel is The September Queen. Two titles, same novel.

Gillian Bagwell's historical fiction novel The King's Mistress opens in 1651, with 25 year-old Jane Lane pondering her future. Deemed a spinster, her family is encouraging to consider a suitor. Jane is looking for passion, someone she can truly love and be loved in
Colleen Turner
Aug 24, 2012 Colleen Turner rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book for

At a time when it seemed a well-to-do young woman’s only real responsibilities were to marry well, have children and create a loving home for her family, Jane Lane defied all odds to go after the life she wanted, no matter the consequences. A truly inspiring woman, she rose from an average English country girl to a woman admired across England as the savior of their King. But her story is also bursting with danger, deprivation and sadness. For just
Sep 01, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The first few chapters of this book were quite good with progression and the initial meeting of Jane Lane and king Charles II. I felt that after this there was minimal progression and I quickly became bored. The action of the first third of this book should have been given more detail and page time, maybe with a bit more of a development of their relationship.
The second third was so slow it almost stopped, though it detailed Jane's exile there was no action. "We walked, we reached somewhere, I
Nov 15, 2011 Svea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, charles-ii, england
Filled with dangerous encounters, a passionate love affair, and vivid scenery, The September Queen is a novel that will thrill and enchant you. The connection between Charles and Jane was so strong that I could have been reading a pop-up book, watching them come to life on each page. Their romance was quite steamy, but I would not let that deter you in any way because the loving emotion exudes from the pages, making it some of the most beautiful and touching moments I have ever read....

Read my f
Carol Ava
Jun 19, 2012 Carol Ava rated it it was amazing
I was totally blown away first by the story of Jane and her king. As you get deeper into it, you realize just how much research went into bring us this story,! When you see the words 'I couldn't put it down' you wonder. You will not wonder with The September Queen! It is worth every word lovingly written. It is truly a gift! Thank you Ms. Bagwell.The September Queen
Dec 01, 2015 Gretchen rated it it was ok
Shelves: royal-stuarts
Too much Shakespeare, sex and letters. Not enough actual story. Charles II comes off as a tool (who certainly knows how to work his tool) and Jane comes off as a silly heartsick girl without an ounce of sense.
Jennifer Simmonds
Oh dear. I loved Bagwell's first book about Nell Gwynn. This was like it was written by a different author. Schmaltzy, cheesy, over-long and with rather wet characters (even Charles), I was left really disappointed. I suppose if you completely suspend your sense of disbelief you could kind of believe she was the love of his life. Sort of, maybe. Actually no, the whole thing was so unconvincing!
Mar 21, 2013 K.l. rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, 1500-1800
wouldn't really recommend this to anyone not looking for a historical romance, and frankly Johanna Lindsey or Kathleen Woodiwiss does it better! Inappropriate sex scenes, and a rather naff main character - all things considered - made this a difficult book to finish. Jane Lane was no doubt a heroine, but I am hoping a better writer rewrites the story!
Jul 27, 2013 Jorey rated it it was ok
Historically interesting, but I could have done without the "50 Shades" aspect. If the reviews had mentioned this could have been listed as a Romance novel I would probably not have purchased it.!
Nikki Bywater
Nov 02, 2012 Nikki Bywater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Royalists, who are fighting to restore the crown to King Charles II, come to Jane Lane’s family for help to keep the King hidden by disguising him and transporting him to safety and away from Cromwell’s Army. Jane comes from a privileged and noble family and has been living a very quiet life so far, she now finds herself on a dangerous adventure to protect the King and keep him out of harms way, while at the same time putting her life at risk. Then if this is not hard enough Jane finds herself a ...more
Gillian Bagwell’s sophomore success, The September Queen, follows another woman in Charles Stuart’s life, Jane Lane of Staffordshire. If it were not for Jane’s part in Charles’ escape from England, he may never have made it to the throne as Charles II.

At the age of twenty-six, Jane had still not married. She had her share of suitors and although she liked them well enough, none made her feel that certain spark. With her head full of Shakespeare, she longed for adventure and one night adventure
Nov 10, 2011 Patty rated it really liked it
I love it when a book introduces me to a person or a piece of history that is brand new to me. When you stop to consider all that has gone past so little has really been recorded. And yet within that little there are still stories waiting to be told. Historical figures, famous in their lifetimes that are now lost to history's back shelves because of more transcendent figures like Henry VIII or Catherine de Medici. But without some of these lessor known players history's course might have changed ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely breathtaking…

As a huge fan of historical fiction I was naturally extremely excited to receive a copy of Gillian Bagwell’s new novel the King’s mistress. I love reading works by authors such as Philippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick, Jamie Carrie, Christine Blevins, Susan Fraser King and Anne Clinard Barnhill to name but a few. The stunning cover stands out on the bookshelf as something very exclusive and quite unusual, taking one back to a past era of elegance and decadence. The line ‘…
Mar 05, 2012 Tiffany rated it really liked it
The September Queen is a pretty good royal historical fiction. It tells the story that I don't think I've ever seen (and the author says in her author's note has never been told) of Jane Lane and Charles II's escape from the Battle of Worcester to overseas. There have been accounts of their travels and these have been so thorough that not much fiction has been written and especially not from the thought that Jane Lane and Charles were lovers. Charles was a notorious philanderer and he never trie ...more
Anna Huber
Mar 18, 2012 Anna Huber rated it really liked it
Until I heard about this novel, I didn't even know the historical figure Jane Lane had existed. I knew of the Royal Miracle, King Charles II flight from England after his disastrous loss at the Battle of Worcester, but I never knew the details of his escape, or that a simple gentlewoman helped to make it possible. It took tremendous courage, and a little bit of wrecklessness on her part, but without her extreme sacrifice and bravery Charles II would likely have been caught and beheaded like his ...more
Jo Barton
Aug 21, 2012 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing
In The King’s Mistress Gillian Bagwell has cleverly combined her impeccable research with fiction, and has produced a thoroughly enjoyable account of the passionate relationship between Charles Stuart and Jane Lane, which was forged in danger, but restricted by protocol. Very little is known about the true nature of the relationship between Jane Lane and the future King Charles II. However, it is without doubt that Charles Stuart owes much to her bravery and tenacity.
It is utterly refreshing to
Nov 01, 2011 April rated it really liked it
THE SEPTEMBER QUEEN by Gillian Bagwell is an interesting historical fiction set in seventeenth century England during the throes England’s civil war. It is the story of another of King Charles II’s mistresses,Jane Lane. It has romance,love,passion,survival,betrayal, adventure,danger,peril on every corner,heartbreak and the life of Jane,who saved Charles II’s life and the future of the monarchy.This is a compelling story of love,lost,heartbreak,and Jane’s romantic and perilous journey to bring Ch ...more
Patricia Leslie
Dec 11, 2011 Patricia Leslie rated it really liked it
Gillian Bagwell has spent most of her life in the theatre, and effectively applies her sense of drama, her ear for crisp dialogue, and her feel for character development, to her new career as novelist. This historical tale – her second novel - kept me interested from beginning to end, although it struck me as a heartbreakingly sad story, since the stage on which the romance plays out, is a political struggle over power, money, and rulership of Great Britain. I cannot feel that the sacrifice of s ...more
Carl R.
May 16, 2012 Carl R. rated it really liked it
So my former student (I taught her nothing of what she knows.) has come forth with a second historical romance featuring Charles II of England.

The first traced the life of Nell Gwynn, and I was mightily happy to spend some time with one of history’s most delicious wenches. This time, the subject is the lesser known Mistress Jane Lane. At curtain, we discover her at age twenty-five, reading in the garden and dreading the arrival of a devoted but ho-hum suitor. Jane, you see, longs for adventur
Rebecca Graf
Jun 07, 2012 Rebecca Graf rated it really liked it
I really enjoy historical fiction that goes beyond the ‘common’ or ‘famous’ names. Those that pick out a minor character or one that just stayed behind the scenes can draw me into a world that too often gets neglected in history. Gillian Bagwell did a wonderful job doing just that in her book, The September Queen.

This is the story of Charles II of England’s attempt to regain to his throne. He is sought after by Cromwell’s men. His death would make many in England breathe easier while causing eve
Kate Forsyth
Jan 14, 2013 Kate Forsyth rated it really liked it
I have always loved the story of Jane Lane, who helped the young king Charles II escape after the last disastrous battle of the English Civil War. I often tell it as a story to audiences of rapt children when I talk about my children's novel, 'The Gypsy Crown' which is set during the last few weeks of Oliver Cromwell's life. In the back of my mind I've always thought what a wonderful historical novel it would make and toyed with the idea of writing it.

Well, Gillian Bagwell has beaten me to it. T
Jun 13, 2013 Ashley rated it really liked it
I've also read one of Gillian Bagwell's books but I enjoyed this one more. I won this book on Goodreads, and I'm glad that I did. At the end of the novel I felt so sorry for Jane Lane, that Charles could just cast her aside like that but that's what Charles did. I had never heard of Jane Lane and so this was a new historical fiction novel for me. It was interesting to read about the people who helped Charles II escape from England and Cromwell. I definitely enjoyed reading this book! So glad tha ...more
Sara Degonia
Sep 19, 2012 Sara Degonia marked it as to-read
I have to be completely honest in that I didn't give this book enough of a chance. I wasn't hooked in the first several pages, and have so many other books on my list to read, that I decided to move on. I immediately passed it on to someone very interested, and I'm hoping they'll post a positive review to make up for mine!

My apologies to the author, and I'm thrilled that others loved the book so much!
Tracy Beckitt
Aug 31, 2012 Tracy Beckitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous read. This is a historical story about a well born lady, Jane Lane who risked her life to help Charles II escape during the English Revolution. This book was beautifully written, following the story of Jane. How the events changed her life and caused her to exiled herself. Essentially a love story, but also one of an indomitable heroine in a time where women were dependant on men. I loved it.
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Gillian Bagwell's richly detailed historical novels bring to vivid life England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

"Venus in Winter" based on the first forty years of the life of the formidable four-times widowed dynast Bess of Hardwick, begins with Bess's introduction to the court of Henry VIII just as the king weds Anne of Cleves. Bess quickly learns to navigate the treacherous waters,
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