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Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  983 ratings  ·  166 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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Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

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 pr
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Set in the late 17th century, Marci Jefferson's female protagonist is none other than the beautiful Frances Stuart, a woman pursued by one monarch which she escapes , only to fall into bed with another.

I felt that this was an "okayish" read as it took me several days to get through. Although Frances was narrating, I never felt emotionally connected to her or any of the other characters.
Jenny Q
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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,
Diane S ☔
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Heather Webb
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Judith Starkston
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Amy Bruno
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
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, historical
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
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
For more than three hundred years, an image of Britannia with her shield and spear or trident has been depicted on the reverse of certain British coins. In the 17th century, the model for Britannia was said to be Frances Stuart, who was described by Samuel Pepys as a great beauty and who famously refused to become a mistress of King Charles II. Girl on the Golden Coin is Frances Stuart's story.

At the beginning of the novel, Frances is one of a family of Royalists who have been living in exile in
Jessica McCann
Oct 14, 2013 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
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 28, 2014 marked it as lookedinto-decidedagainst
If Orsolya call this fluff then it will be too light for my tastes.
Gloria Marcano Cerisano
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Frances Stuart was everything a person of royalty will want and she was divided honor or love. The story talks about her relationship with King Charles II and the life at court. Marci gives us an inside of her interpretation of Frances life at court and with King Charles. This was a great story, Marci did a great job talking about La Belle Stuart. She will be on the Brittania coin.
Tracy Camp
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
V.E. Lynne
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hf, england
A very light read about Frances Stuart who may or may not have become a mistress to King Charles II. I think becoming the model for Britannia on the coins of England may lend itself to the side of the affirmative! The author portrays her as honorable & smarter than history suggests; which she explains in her author's note. I don't know a lot about this period of the English monarchy, so enjoyed learning a little about the players and inevitable intrigues of the day. But the writing itself and fo ...more
Heather Nims willison
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was very fortunate to be able to get my hands on an advance copy of this debut novel, and it did not disappoint! As an avid reader, it has always been my belief that the sign of an excellent book is when you fall head over heels for the characters within. Oh, to be Frances Stuart and to have experienced such a passionate life during such a tumultuous time. This is a story of family, loyalty, redemption, survival, loss, and above all, love. I cannot wait to read what the talented Marci Jefferso ...more
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.
BAM Endlessly Booked
I was neither overwhelmed nor underwhelmed by this story. I admit I knew nothing about this woman who had such influence over King Charles II. She seems to have been quite the court beauty caught in the snare of royal politics. This was a light read, easily done overnight. No deep thinking or concentration needed. I may look for other books by this author to fulfill that occasional desire.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel... Jefferson's writing made the characters and time period come alive!!! I really enjoyed this and would recommend to any historical fiction enthusiast!!! ...more
Steffan Jones
An historical novel going through the life of one Frances Stuart (1647-1702), a distant cousin and lover of King Charles II of England, though not necessarily his most famous or interesting mistress (e.g. Nell Gwynne, Barbara Villiers). He did have dozens after all. It is possible or likely even that she was Charles II’s favourite mistress/lover backed up by a range of contemporary accounts like the Pepys diaries etc.

I rated the novel two stars for many reasons but the first being that the auth
Definitely on the fluffy side of the historical fiction spectrum, but enjoyable nonetheless. The author seems to follow what's known about Frances Stuart pretty closely, in general - this means there's no Mary Boleyn or Katharine Swynford ending.

As fluffy as it is, it has inspired me to read more about the period. For readers into the heftier, denser side of historical fiction, Lindsay Davis wrote a tome about the English Civil War -- Rebels and Traitors. I'm still looking for the history of th
Karen Brooks
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Restoration is a fascinating period of English history, the huge religious upheavals, bigotry, fears, debates, philosophical breakthroughs and scientific discoveries are, however, often overlooked in favour of focussing on the fascinating and debauched court of Charles II and his personal sexual proclivities.
As the father of between 13-18 illegitimate children (depending which account you read), Charles made up for his long period of exile and deprivation when he returned to England with gr
Sara Giacalone
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit I am quite fascinated with the Restoration period currently. This was an enjoyable read, full of historic details - if rather lighthearted.
Lisa Reads & Reviews
At the end, I felt cheated. The novel could have been transporting, and educational. Instead, I felt the author never really understood Frances Stuart enough to draw the reader in. Moments that would have delivered high dramatic impact were dismissed with a single line, causing me to say, Oh, wait, what?

There were good parts, especially the male characters, especially King Charles. The females were grating with Valley Girl-worthy responses. This mixture was odd and jolting in places.

As for wha
The Lit Bitch
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not know much about Frances Stuart before beginning this book, and that is why I prefer to read historical fiction. Marci Jefferson has researched and crafted a fine tale which I very much enjoyed.

Because some of the events in her life are not well know I remained suspenseful for the author's view point until the very end. I almost missed the last four years of Charles II's reign as it pertained to Frances, but the excellent author's notes sent me back a few pages.

There are several Britis
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 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 for GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN evolved slowly after a trip to London, where s ...more

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