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Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  465 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Impoverished and exiled to the French countryside after the overthrow of the English Crown, Frances Stuart survives merely by her blood-relation to the Stuart Royals. But in 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and springs to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches King Louis XIV’s ey ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. RoseWritten in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana GabaldonA Burnable Book by Bruce HolsingerA King's Ransom by Sharon Kay PenmanThe Queen's Exiles by Barbara Kyle
Historical Fiction 2014
13th out of 394 books — 2,183 voters
Elusive Hope by MaryLu TyndallShields of Pride by Elizabeth ChadwickA Race to Splendor by Ciji WareGirl on the Golden Coin by Marci JeffersonCity of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Little Drops of Sunrise
4th out of 259 books — 48 voters

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I was very nervous about picking up Marci Jefferson's Girl on the Golden Coin, not because it is a debut, but because the book has been hyped to such an extent that I feared an experience similar to the one I had with Kate Alcott's The Dressmaker. My worry was so real that I actually considered holding off a while when I received an ARC edition of the book for review.

Doing my best to ignore my apprehension, I ultimately dec
As a “fan girl” of King Charles II, it is only natural that I am also fascinated by his mistresses. Although I adore Nell Gwynne as my favorite; the other women are compelling, as well. Marci Jefferson reveals the role of Frances Stuart in her debut novel, “Girl on the Golden Coin”.

At this juncture of my many years of reading both history and historical fiction text; I can pretty much scan a book and know if it will please me. “Girl on the Golden Coin” instantly caused trepidation but its prom
Jenny Q
Author Interview + Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!

Oh, how I was looking forward to this book! I love reading about Restoration England and the Merry Monarch and his licentious court. And I love reading about lesser-known people whose impact on history gets outshone by the light of the bright stars of their age. History may remember Frances Stuart simply as the only woman who managed not to succumb to King Charles II's charms--and that is highly debatable--but she was also the face of Britannia,
Judith Starkston
Flirtations of the most dangerous and serious sort entangle Frances Stuart first in the court of Louis XIV and then in the Restoration court of Charles II. Despite the luscious gowns and extravagant jewels she wins for herself, we don’t envy her the high-wire balancing act she must maintain as she tries to win first one king’s influence and then another, while concealing the tragic secrets that would destroy her family and herself. That she manages to hold onto her virginity and her dignity for ...more
Diane S.
Although I have read much about Charles II and his many mistresses, I have read little about Frances Stuart. She serves as our narrator, so it was very surprising to me that I didn't feel like I really got to know her, on the surface yes, but in depth, no. Still it was an interesting and quick read and I did enjoy much of this book. The court, their clothes, the political maneuvering, the mistresses, the key players were all present as was the whole religion debate. Loved the author's note becau ...more
Marci Jefferson struck gold with her debut novel. Bringing us two royal courts full of interest and intrigue, Louis XIV of France and Charles II of England. Plenty of drama not without twists and turns, all involving a beautiful virtuous girl caught in the crossfire of manipulation and politics, Frances Stuart.

Frances Stuart is intelligent, and empathetic for circumstances out of her control. A deep rooted family secret forces her to play into the political hand forced upon her. Frances proves
Kate Forsyth
The Restoration is one of my absolute favourite periods of history and I have read a lot of books set in that period. However, I had never read about Frances Stuart before and so I found this novel of her life by Marci Jefferson utterly fascinating. Frances is a distant cousin of Charles II whose family lost everything in the English Civil War and their subsequent exile with the royal court. Frances has only her beauty and her wit to help her survive in the decadent Restoration court, but she us ...more
Heather Webb
Marci Jefferson spins a spirited yarn in GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN, a Restoration novel packed with beribboned courtiers and ebullient dialogue, and the utterly likeable and cunning Frances Stuart, distant cousin of King Charles II. A realistic view of court intrigue, this story of merry-making and mischief and the ultimate test of honor will delight readers and keep them turning pages long into the night.
No dear readers, do not try to adjust your screen – yes, you are really are seeing a review from me! It’s been longer than I care to since I’ve written my last review. But with having two babies in two years and my own growing business I’ve been a tad busy so I do hope you’ll forgive me!

What better way to end a reviewing drought than with Marci Jefferson’s spectacular debut, Girl on the Golden Coin! Set during two of the most intriguing courts in Europe’s history, that of Louis XIV of France, t
Jessica McCann
Jan 13, 2014 Jessica McCann marked it as books-of-interest
I was introduced to this author through Twitter and the Historical Novel Society a few years ago and have been enjoying following her updates about her debut novel. What a fun surprise to win the book through a Goodreads give-away.

While I am an avid historical fiction reader, this was my first book about European royals. Set in the Restoration period of the 1600s, the novel follows the life of the beautiful Royalist exile Frances Stuart and the restoration of the Stuart Monarchy in England. Jeff
V.E. Lynne
It is 1660 and the Stuart Monarchy, under Charles II, has been restored to the throne of Great Britain. Young Frances Stuart, a beautiful offshoot of the royal family, has spent the Cromwell years in penniless exile in France like many other royalists. However, once she rejects the advances of Louis XIV she must return to England and the Restoration court, a hotbed of intrigue, danger and illicit passions. Unbeknown to all, before leaving France she made a deal with King Louis to work in his fav ...more
Girl on the Golden Coin is pure gold, rich in historical intrique and one of the most sensual historical fictions I have read. Frances who captured the heart of the king and protected England from war within. I loved how the story was told. Frances desire to be honorable was very well played in this novel. Was she maniuplative at the cost of being honorable, one could argue. It does seem like a contradiction of sorts, but I could see how history played out during that time in history. Between po ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I have been dying to read this book since last June, when I hosted the author on my blog ahead of the Historical Novel Conference. Since then, there's been a lot of buzz about this book because one, the author is sweet and adorable and I just want to eat her up with a spoon; and two, the novel has a staggeringly gorgeous cover (click the image for the full-blown hi-res version).

As it turns out, there's a pretty fabulous story here, too!

Set between 1661 and 1688, at the height of the Restoration
I quite enjoyed this one. It winds in the known facts of Frances Stuart's life together with the events she lived through and the people she would have known.

Having said that, the writing style didn't pull me in enough to feel anything for any of the characters at all, even though the author carefully constructed a series of motivations and possible events which very plausibly fill in the gaps of what is and isn't known.

Nice, quick, entertaining but rather unsatisfying read. 3 stars.
The Lit Bitch
Frances easily captures the heart of any man that she meets, not just the two kings but many at court as well. She is known not just for her beauty but for her grace and poise.

In this novel that side of her really came shining through. I loved Frances, at times she could be a little naive and silly but overall I thought she was realistic and true to what is known about her in history.

I enjoyed the writing style of this novel and how fast it moved. I was immediately are drawn into the story by th
Tracy Camp
I'm a big fan of biographical historical fiction, especially in a royal court setting. This is the first one I've read in a long time with so much tension! The main character believably interacts in a palace setting where courtiers don't come off as cardboard background cutouts. The court factions are important sub-plots, so you feel involved in court life and survival. This heroine out wits them, they bandy witty group insults, and actually do the work courtiers did - it's so real! There are st ...more
I am thrilled to be a GoodReads first reads winner of this book!! I CANNOT wait to get it and start reading!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this Restoration-era novel about Frances Stuart. This book was an introduction to me on Frances, and I found her to be quite fascinating! Who can boast of having so many important men truly love them? Jefferson really creates her as a warm, true character who you like reading about. You are happy when she is, and you feel sorrow for her during her unhappy times. The w
Tonya Linker
Nov 21, 2013 Tonya Linker rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers, Restoration England lovers
Recommended to Tonya by: met the author on twitter
The author sent me an advance reading copy after meeting her on twitter. I had no idea the Stuart Period was so rich. It was more than just "Restoration Rogues," the Great Fire and the Great Plague. There was this terrible Naval War for trading rights, problems with Parliament, disgruntled citizens. And there are so many aristocrats with agendas of their own that Frances really fights for her survival at court. And apparently the Restoration was on the verge of falling apart, which would have al ...more
Susan (susayq ~)
This was a good novel about the life of Frances Stuart, the girl who had the love of two kings and was immortalized on the face of coins in England.

I'm always intrigued by books that fictionalize Court life. I wonder how much is real, how much is fiction, could a conversation have taken place, would people have reacted the way it's portrayed. In here, we get a glimpse into the life of Frances Stuart, a girl who spurns one king and falls in love with another. I loved the relationship between Fra
I can’t say enough positive things about “Girl on the Golden Coin” by Marci Jefferson! I was pulled in from the very first page, and had no problem finishing it in a couple of days. The author really brought Frances Stuart and the people closest to her to life for me. I felt like I was able to get to know Frances as person, and was impressed on how the author was able create a novel that is so interesting, yet stays true to historical facts. I have read novels in the past about King Charles II’s ...more
I originally asked for a copy of Marci Jefferson's debut novel, Girl on the Golden Coin, because

the author lives in Indiana. And, I agreed to participate in the book blog tour for the book. Once I read the book, I realized Jefferson needs to have her readers speak up for this book. The historical novel about Frances Stuart is a stunning debut introducing a woman few readers know about. In fact, this is probably the most readable historical novel set in England that I've read. The characters, and
Based on 17thc. history in the heart of both the French and English courts (involving two of my all-time favourite kings- Louis XIV and the most charming of them all, Charles ll!!)- it doesn't get any better than this. But back to our heroine- Frances Stuart- she is splendid- actually the most beautiful woman of those times. Of royalty herself (except for a glitch somewhere along her royal line), she is Charlesll's distant cousin as well as Madame (Henriette), his youngest sister's very close ch ...more
Kris Mehigan
May I preface this review by admitting I'm a great fan of historical fiction.

Life in England in the mid-1600s was bifurcated: the haves and the have-nots. Power and influence were tradeable commodities in the courts of King Louis of France and King Charles of England. Add a backdrop of fluctuating alliances, religious rebellion, war with The Netherlands, the plague and a cast of characters who have political agendas rivaling those of the Roman gods and goddesses.

Enter Frances Stuart, the "Girl o
It's no secret that I enjoy a well-written historical fiction. But, when I was asked to review this new one by an unknown author...a debut novel, I had my reservations. Then, after just one chapter, I was hooked until the end. Marci Jefferson is a wonderful author who sorts out time, carrying you off to another place and scene with all the aplomb of a seasoned historical fiction author. I loved her book!

While we are taken up by the gorgeous courts of France and England during the Restoration Per
Mike Shoop
Her beauty unparalleled and beguiling, the young and delectable Frances Stuart created a sensation when she arrived at the court of lusty King Charles II of England. Placed there by the Queen Mother to encourage the monarch to turn back to Catholicism, Frances also wishes to help provide security for her own family. Caught amongst the games and power plays of highborn courtiers and power hungry officials, she is forced to make hard decisions and responsible choices. Set against the glitter of Re ...more
Disclaimer: I won this book through First Reads.

My first thoughts would be to give this book a 3.5, but since Goodreads does not have half star ratings I decided to round it up, mainly because this is a first novel and I think the writer has promise. I also would like to make clear that this isn't literary historical fiction (think Hilary Mantel) but is more like a Philippa Gregory. In fact, if you like historical fiction but are more interested in internal character development, I would suggest
If one word could be used to describe Marci Jefferson GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN, it would be: captivating. It’s beautiful, lush, and breathtaking. I didn’t want it to end!

Not many people may know the story of Frances Stuart, but no doubt you’ve seen the image of Britannia on British currency. Dressed in roman robes, she’s seated holding a trident while wearing a Corinthian helmet and beside her is a shield depicting the unification of Scotland and England. In 1672, Frances served as the model for
Julianne Douglas
Experience might teach readers not to judge books by their covers, but in the case of Marci Jefferson's debut novel, GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN (St. Martin's Press, February 11), readers have no need for caution. The gorgeous cover, which reproduces a contemporary portrait of the novel's protagonist, Frances Stuart, bespeaks with fitting perfection the sumptuous tale within.

The novel recounts the story of Stuart (1647-1702), mistress to King Charles II of England and model for Britannia, the person
I was very fortunate to get my hands on an advance copy of this debut novel through a GoodReads giveaway, and it did not disappoint! I'm a big fan of biographical historical fiction, and I truly enjoyed this book. I was not at all familiar with Frances Stuart before, but this was a fantastic introduction to her story.
"Frances Stuart has little money, but she has beauty that can attract kings. When she goes to the French court with her newly wed friend, King Louis XIV is enraptured and asks her to be his mistress. Guided by her morals and her desire to protect her family from scandal, she refuses, and he sends her back to England, charging her to capture King Charles II's eye. While she attempts to win Charles over with kindness instead of seduction, she starts falling for the monarch she can't have. Her loya ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 21, 2015 12:36PM  
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Years after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, immersing herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career, and then having children, Marci realized she’d neglected her passion for history and writing.She began traveling, writing along the way, delving into various bits of history that caught her fancy. The plot forGIRL ON THE GOLDEN COINevolved slowly after a trip to London, where she ...more
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