Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Merry Monarch's Wife (Queens of England, #9)” as Want to Read:
The Merry Monarch's Wife (Queens of England, #9)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Merry Monarch's Wife (Queens of England #9)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  459 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Charles II is restored to the English throne, and his court is lively and even scandalous. The country is eager for succession to be clear and certain: The next king will be the son of Charles II and his queen, Catherine of Braganza. Yet Catherine, daughter of the king of Portugal and a Catholic, has never been popular with the English people. She is also having great ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Merry Monarch's Wife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Merry Monarch's Wife

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kelly A.
Guess what?! I have a new favourite Queen. Sorry Tudor queens, but Catherine of Braganza has taken your place. For being a rarely talked about person in English history, she sure was a fascinating person. She may not have conducted scandalous affairs or had her head chopped off, but she is memorable in her own way.

Jean Plaidy’s book, The Merry Monarch’s Wife, is written in the form of Catherine's memoir (J.P. likes to do this a lot...it's not really my favourite writing technique). I knew very l
...more
HBalikov
Sep 11, 2015 HBalikov rated it it was ok
Captain Renault:
What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?

Rick:
My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

Captain Renault:
The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.

Rick:
I was misinformed.

This is my first encounter with Jean Plaidy's Queens of England Series. I thought I might be getting Hilary Mantel; I was misinformed.

This book dramatizes the life of Catherine of Braganza. She, a good Catholic, married Charles II of England whose good fortune it was to be available at the restorat
...more
Becky
May 10, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading Jean Plaidy's The Merry Monarch's Wife. Catherine of Braganza was the queen of Charles II. For those familiar with the reign of Charles II, you can imagine what a life she led for better or worse. The book seeks to capture her personal perspective of her husband, of her marriage, of her adopted country. (She's coming from Portugal to England.)

Plaidy's depiction has Catherine truly in love with the King, and oh-so-aware of his shortcomings. In her reckoning, Charles II could not
...more
Mihai
The Merry Monarch’s Wife,the ninth book in the Queens of England series,presents the life of Catherine of Braganza,queen and consort of Charles II.

Written as a memoir,the story begins with Catherine as an old women deciding to entertain herself by writing about her life.As a result we are taken back in time starting with Catherine’s time as Infanta of Portugal,the daughter of King Juan IV.A marriage between her and Charles is highly desired for both sides and after years of discussions a 24 year
...more
Heather
The Merry Monarch’s Wife by Jean Plaidy

Genre: Historical Fiction

Catherine of Braganza is a quiet, reserved, and innocent young lady when she comes to marry the Merry Monarch at the licentious court of Charles II. Her eyes are rather quickly opened when she is introduced to her new husband’s mistress, Barbara Palmer. Catherine would have to figure out how to handle her husband’s many mistresses: Barbara Palmer, Louise de Kerouaille, Nell Gwyn and many others. Catherine also has to handle the many
...more
Judy
Sep 12, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I am new to the Stuarts, and the previous novel I read (Myself My Enemy) was a tragic introduction to the
Charleses. Catherine of Braganza is an unlikely heroine, the contrast between her innocence and Charles II's widespread experience could not be greater. She had some adjustments to make - but with all their efforts, she could not produce an heir, which fact endangered her position. After all, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII weren't all that long before...

In spite of myself, I like Plaidy's first
...more
Maria
Oct 24, 2014 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Li este livro com uma certa curiosidade em saber o que é que uma escritora inglesa teria a dizer ácerca de uma rainha inglesa, de origem portuguesa, e para mais uma rainha tão marcante quanto Catarina de Bragança. Após ler o romance de Isabel Stilwell, quiz fazer essa comparação.

Os livros são similares na sua perspectiva da relação de Carlos e Catarina, que, apesar da insaciabilidade do rei, era uma relação de amor e companheirismo: ela amava-o e ele procurava nela a calma, a devoção, o bom-sens
...more
S
Jun 04, 2012 S rated it did not like it
I did not finish this book - after 247 pages of practically nothing happening, it did not seem worth any more of my time. Much of the so-called plot takes place only through narratives that Charles tells Catherine in retrospect. She seems to live through nothing, experience nothing, do nothing, feel nothing, and think nothing. She is intensely dull as a character. Even Catherine's somewhat well-known loyalty to Charles is bland and feels hollow.

The first third or so was alright. After that, Ms.
...more
Cayleigh
Apr 06, 2013 Cayleigh rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
This is the story of Catherine of Braganza, the wife of King Charles II. I read a lot of novels about English I do believe I have read some stories of King Charles II and his (many) mistresses but this is one of the only ones I’ve read solely from Catholic wife Catherine’s point of view. I liked it, and I will definitely be picking up another of Plaidy’s many Queen’s of England books but I didn’t 100% connect with Catherine. How she was written it seemed as if every event was happening to her, ...more
Sonya Wanvig
Jul 04, 2011 Sonya Wanvig rated it really liked it
Poor Catherine of Braganza. Considering the arguably most important job of an English queen hundreds of years ago was to produce a male her, she was a failure. She carried none of her babies to term and there was no doubt that Catherine was the one to blame. Her husband, King Charles II had over a dozen children with no less than four mistresses. However, God gave her chance to be the mother of her native country Portugal. After surviving the death of her husband and the abdication of the ...more
Margo Penhall
I found the historical detail and background fascinating, but Catherine was irritatingly insipid. Many times I felt like shaking her and telling her to wake up - really, she is Queen, isn't she? I find it hard to believe that anyone can be so naïve during the whole time she is Queen of England and then suddenly take over as Regent of Portugal. She comes across as am impossibly innocent victim of the entire Court of England, including her husband Charles II. So it was interesting but ...more
Alex
Mar 15, 2008 Alex rated it liked it
I have read to-date all of the Plaidy books that are currently available. This book was not a favorite. Catherine of Braganza, while an interesting woman in her own right, played out in this novel as helpless woman who did not take an active interest in the events surrounding her. If you are interested in her and the people in this time period, The Loves of Charles II: The Stuart Saga is a much better read as it is told about many people with many different points of view. If you want to focus ...more
Juliew.
Sep 20, 2015 Juliew. rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Wilkinson
Aug 17, 2013 Hannah Wilkinson rated it did not like it
I like historical fiction, but the way this story was told seemed more like a history book than a novel. It is a perfect example of the author telling me what is going on rather than showing me. The main character, Catherine from Portugal, repeats many of the same thoughts until I started scanning pages just to get through. She really doesn't do anything, or grow as a person. She is simply Charles II's wife and lets him do what he pleases. I know this is historically based, but there just didn't ...more
Sara W
Jan 02, 2010 Sara W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is told from the point of view of Charles II's wife Catherine Braganza. It's interesting to compare this book with Plaidy's earlier books about Charles II. Most things are similar, but in this book (which was written considerably after the Charles II trilogy) she has Charles dying willingly as a Catholic as opposed to being forced to it like at the end of the trilogy (which her author's note even discusses). I haven't read any non-fiction about Charles, so I'm not sure what the current ...more
Danielle
Despite the somewhat dull and placid personality of this Queen of England, Plaidy creates a simple and relatively enjoyable story of her life. Though I found the lives of her enemies - could one call them that? - the mistresses of Charles II such as Nell Gwynne and Lady Castlemaine. Unfortunately they took the show away from Catherine.

However, Plaidy is such a talented writer, it is hard to fault the tone she manages to capture of famous people of the time. Not a favourite but that may be becaus
...more
Stella
This was an interesting story of the Restoration of the Monarchy after the puritan rule of Oliver Cromwell. The story focuses on Catherine of Braganza,the Portugese wife of Charles II. Catherine comes to England and marries Charles to strenghten the aliance between England and Portugal against their mutual enenmy of Spain. It charts her struggle with Charles' mistresses which were many, and the dangers faced by a Catholic Queen in a Protestant country. Only let down for me was that there were ...more
Laura Finger
Jun 24, 2013 Laura Finger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jean-plaidy, lending
This is one of my favorite of Plaidy's novels. Catherine, who failed in her attempts to give Charles II a child, is another Queen of England who is rarely more than a footnote in the history of Britain.

Plaidy does what she does best, humanizing Catherine's story and telling the complicated story of Catherine, Charles II and his many mistresses. This was a quick read that I really wished would never end.
Tiffannie
Feb 20, 2010 Tiffannie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Traci
Feb 06, 2010 Traci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the Plaidy's historical fiction about the queens of England. I'm such an Anglophile! Anyway, this was about Catherine, wife of Charles II (whose father had been executed by Cromwell). I was particularly intrigued by Catherine's story--what a fascinating life!
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Its quite feat of the author when youre predisposed to like the main character,but after the finishing the book you dont like her at all.

A weak read.
Alexandra
Jun 24, 2012 Alexandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I haven't read any Jean Plaidy for a while and her style put me off a little bit this time...I'm sure I just need to read my way back into it...
Rebecca
Jun 22, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it


Jean Plaidy is one of my favorite authors. Catherine of Braganza is a queen that I had not read about before and I really enjoyed this portrait of her life.
Cess Lapitan
Dec 09, 2011 Cess Lapitan rated it really liked it
This is not your ordinary love story. It's my first time to read a book like this. I even can't remember why I bought this book, but it was good time reading it.
Ashleigh Oldfield
Ashleigh Oldfield rated it really liked it
May 01, 2011
Meghan
Meghan rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2011
Melinda
Melinda rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2014
Allison
#9 in series - #9 in historical order
Terelyn Marks
Terelyn Marks rated it liked it
Aug 07, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The King's Favorite
  • Queens of England
  • The King's Daughter
  • The Perfect Royal Mistress
  • Wife to Charles II
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • With All My Heart
  • Anne Boleyn: In Her Own Words & the Words of Those Who Knew Her
  • To the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost Princes
  • Lady of the Roses: A Novel of the Wars of the Roses
  • The King's Touch
  • The Darling Strumpet
  • The Stuarts
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • Tudor Women: Queens & Commoners
  • The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5)
6590
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Queens of England (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Myself, My Enemy (Queens of England, #1)
  • Queen of This Realm (Queens of England, #2)
  • Victoria Victorious: The Story of Queen Victoria (Queens of England, #3)
  • The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4)
  • The Courts of Love (Queens of England, #5)
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • The Queen's Secret (Queens of England, #7)
  • The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England, #8)
  • William's Wife (Queens of England, #10)
  • The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11)

Share This Book