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The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,594 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Ousted from her family by her new stepmother, Eliza Rose makes her way to London--only to be thrown straight into prison for stealing a bite to eat. Her life takes a remarkable twist when she is rescued and befriended by the infamous actress Nelly Gwyn. Nelly introduces her to the courtly intrigue, politics, and glamour of the court of King Charles II, as well as to a hand ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published January 1st 2006)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,594 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
bleh and ho-hum. Forgetable except for my annoyance at the time wasted reading it.

The story is set in 17th century England but I felt there was very little historical content--while many of the characters were real I just didn't get enough of the sights and sounds from this time period.

The story itself seems to resolve around sex from the "bawdy" houses all the way to the King and his mistresses and one-night stands. It is even celebrated when Eliza's best friend becomes pregnant with the king'
Jun 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: noone
I've had my fair share of bad books lately. This one stars a painfully stupid heroine who appears to be just thrown into 17th.c England, not understanding why or how she got there, doing not much else but staring with big stupid doe eyes like cattle in the slaughterhouse or gasp very ladylike. It takes her page after dreary page to draw the simplest conclusion; if Mom and Dad are not my real parents, then - she realizes 2 pages later - :gasp: my brothers are not my real brothers! Bravo Sherlock! ...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
there's nothing remarkable about "the remarkable life and times of eliza rose." it is imminently missable. the plot points are preposterously lucky, so although terribly bad things happen to almost all the people around her, eliza escapes unscathed each time. sheesh. mediocre at best. sappy and stupid at worst. highly disappointing overall. the only thing worthwhile are the descriptions of 17th century london.

a cautionary pg13. this is not appropriate for young teens. it doesn't have explicit c
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I've been reading so much lately that I realized I need to be harsher in my scoring. I've been using three stars as my "eh I was entertained but I wouldn't say it's really all that good", and this book is one of the first where I knocked that down to two.

Characters come in and out of the story, never to appear again, signs of a well developed world in an adult novel, but in this YA title, it felt as if the author forgot a plot twist she planned. Eliza isn't a character the reader can really iden
Lili Kathey
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was a decent book (much because of Claude Du Vall and occasionally Valentine) but it just didn't hold up in the long run. It was a good book to forget myself within, but not one I'll read again, and simply too many strings were left untied by the end. (In fact, some characters appeared with a major role and then disappeared without us having any disclosure?) (And where/what were any characters' motives?).

(view spoiler)
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it
4 or 5 stars for the story, and how it pulled me in. 2 stars for the 'whore' content. I enjoy Mary Hooper's writing style.

Howvever, it was hard to tell that this was 1600 London versus 1800 London. Maybe there weren't many differences.

Content Advisory:
Little if no language. There is a lot of talk about affairs, mistresses and whore houses. This way of life is deemed acceptable to everyone in the story. The heroine, Eliza, does not want to become a mistresses (or whore); she wants to wait for h
The story was unbelievably predictable at every single turn. Eliza was perhaps the stupidest protagonist ever. It seemed to take her an age to figure out the most obvious of things. I knew exactly where the plot was headed, which was so far fetched it made me want to tear lumps of my own hair out.
It does have an eye-catching front cover though.
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Beth

This is the first Mary Hooper novel I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last. The story of Eliza Rose is an interesting one and the author is careful to link it closely to real historical events and characters which really worked for me and made it even more enjoyable.
Our protagonist is naïve Eliza who seems to keep this naivety intact throughout the novel despite her meeting with some of the most infamous 17th century villains and mistresses around. From Claude Duval to Old Ma
Jul 27, 2011 added it
After the story of Henry VIII and all of his Baby Momma drama my kids are fascinated with Kings and their "home lives". They just can't understand how a King can be married and have so many other "friends" this will satisfy thier craving for depravity without being to graphic and it will help them understand how much power the Kings had over the world around them. I wish that the ending had not been so neat and wrapped in a bow. I wish that girls were not constantly given the message that life i ...more
Annabelle Fritz
First of all, I like Mary Hooper and have read a couple of her books. The storyline is sometimes a little flat and could have been shorted. Over all I really enjoyed it but what is confusing to me is the time stamps given. The Book is said to be in 1655. Eliza says that it has been 4 years since the great fire, which was in 1666. Also Charles II is king and His official reign only started in 1661 and it was the time he met Nell Gwyn which historically was around 1668. As you can see, something i ...more
Jun 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Though this is a young adult historical novel, I'm not sure I would recommend this to a teen because of the setting: King Charles II's bawdy court.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I generally don't like reading fiction novels written in prehistorical times such as Middle Ages etc. However, this was absolutely brillant. It kept me on edge and I did become all emotional while reading the book sometimes even crying during certain bits.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-kids, fiction
This is a little bit like the YA version of The Vizard Mask (in which book virtue is *not* miraculously preserved) with a happy ending and bonus Claude Duval.
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, re-reads
Mary Hooper is one of my favourite historical fiction writes of all time, and I devoured her books when I was a few years younger but I haven’t actually read any of her books for quite a while so this one was a much anticipated re-read for me. And I really, really enjoyed it. Mary Hooper is an expert at creating really vivid and lively settings that seem to jump of the page – and are bursting with historical details that please my inner historical buff in so many ways – and this book was certain ...more
The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose by Mary Hooper
Bloomsbury, 2006
334 pages
YA; Historical
4/5 stars

Source: Library

Read for Overlooked YA Book Battle.

I wasn't entirely sure about this book because it's set in Restoration England and features a closer look at one of Charles II's many mistresses, Nell Gwyn. She befriends Eliza Rose, who undergoes a remarkable journey. Eliza's stepmother kicked her out, so she traveled to London to find her father who was looking for work there. She lands in
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was another one I have had in my locker for a long time. I kept picking it up then choosing something else instead, but this time I determined to read it.
Eliza Rose grew up in Somersetshire with her family. But things change quickly. Her step-mother kicks her out of the house with no real explanation so Eliza makes her way to London to find her father who is there working as a mason. On the way Eliza meets some trouble and ends up in jail for stealing a pastry. Not used to the rough conditi
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody who likes Marie Louise Jensen or a historical romance reader in general
Recommended to Rachel by: Goodreads after reading The Lady i the tower by Marie Louise Jnsen
Quick summary: Eliza Rose lived with her family in Somersetshire (Somerset) in the 17th century but when her mother dies and her father marries again and then moves away to London to help rebuild after the Great Fire of London, her Step-Mother throws her out. So now detirmined Eliza travels to London to find her father and to be restored to her rightful place of daughter of the household. However not realising what is needed to survive she soon runs out of money and steals a pasty to keep from s ...more
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
When Eliza Rose is kicked out of her home, she is sure that if she can get to London and find her father there, all will be well. Unfortunately, Eliza is rather naive and ends up in jail as soon as she arrives in London, simply for stealing some food when she was hungry. When she is rescued from the jail by Ma Gwynn, she thinks life will be grand; instead, she soon finds herself in a world of intrigue, dishonesty, and immorality. Luckily, she is saved by Ma's daughter, Nell, a famous actress, wh ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A lovely, lovely book! Exactly what I look for in a novel. There is fashion, romance, intrigue, and royalty all thrown in. I am so happy that though Eliza was thrown in jail and almost sold into prostitution, her virtue remained intact and all in all, she was still very much a lady.

I was very much shocked over Eliza's foster family's ill treatment of her. Surely they received some sort of sum when she and her usurper were replaced. I don't understand why she was turned out knowing that their son
Jun 08, 2008 rated it liked it
In 17th century England, Eliza Rose is thrown out of her house by her stepmother from her poor countryside home, and travels to London to seek out her father and ask him to intercede on her behalf. Hungry and penniless, she filches some food, and lands in Clink Prison, where Old Ma Gwyn, the madam of a bawdyhouse, spots her and gets her released. Nell Gwynn, Ma Gwynn's infamous actress daughter, adopts Eliza as her companion and maid, and thrusts Eliza into a life replete with court intrigue and ...more
Catherine Mayo
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a colourful account of Restoration London, where the “cuckoo” child Eliza tries to find her father and her true identity. It starts in The Clink, with graphic descriptions of the sordid conditions there. Once Eliza gets out of prison, she becomes the maid servant to Nell Gwyn, whose sexual conquest of Charles II is outlined in clear terms if not in prurient detail. At the first royal party Eliza and Nell attend, two people have sex in a tent, back-lit by candle light and silhouetted on t ...more
May 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: future phillippa gregory fans
Shelves: ya
During the reign of King Charles II, a young girl gets kicked out of her family home by her stepmother, travels to London where she is thrown in jail. She is released from prison to find herself living among bawds and loose women; she then is befriended by the actress Nelly Gwynn, who later becomes the king's most famous mistress.

Things I liked:
I'm a sucker for historical fiction, especially related to royalty. A YA book that follows a fictional character around the demimonde of Charles II's co
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-books
Eliza is a very likable protagonist, and you are compelled to keep turning those pages to see what happens. She has many adventures whilst trying to survive in Restoration era London, and find out the truth of her birth. The weaving of historical details into the story is seamless. Teens with a romantic streak or just interested in historical fiction will really love this book.

Eliza and the reader quickly learn that the only way for a woman to survive in this time is through her relationships w
Zara Shabir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Wright
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm going to start my review with a confession - I didn't finish this book.

I bought this as a 13 year old and now I'm 16, I realise the age bracket for this book is very misleading. Supposedly a children's novel (or so I heard) I expected something easy going of a period novel, not to be reading about prostitutes and such.

I found the plot good. I felt I couldn't connect with the characters as much as I wanted to and sometimes the variation of settings and dates within the novel confused my per
Anne Osterlund
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Eliza wakes up in prison. Clink prison (aka The Clink) to be exact, where the rats and the sewer run right through the cell. And her only hope of avoiding starvation is to beg from gentlemen who pass by outside the grill. But it is Ma Gwyn who bribes the guards to get Eliza out of Clink. Ma who has plans for Eliza. And Ma’s plans—well—they aren’t what anyone would expect.

Mary Hooper gives her readers a very clear vision of seventeenth century London. The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose i
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A lovely and romantic story about a young, beautiful girl called Eliza Rose. Eliza's mother died when she was little and her dad had moved away to London to work in the Army (or something related). Eliza's stepmother kicks Eliza out the house and Eliza spends her last money on a ride to London. After she is arrested for stealing a pastry a strange old woman called Old Ma Gwynn bails her out, as long as Eliza comes to work for her. At first she thinks it's a normal house but then realizes what ki ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: y-a, historical
I enjoyed this quite a bit. It reminded me of The Other Boleyn Girl, but for young adults and less scummy. And less tragic. Anyway, I liked the "inside" look at King Charles' court, however factionalized it was. The storyline got a little trite at times, but overall it was a good balance of salacious court gossip and authentic-sounding female angst at the strictures of the time period. The main character made some naive and stupid choices from time to time, but only one of them felt unrealistic- ...more
Stephanie A.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why I liked this so much - the snappy title? the girl on the cover looks a bit like Katharine McPhee? - but for whatever reason, it really wrapped itself around my brain. The heroine was feisty and likeable, 17th century London is a far more exciting place than I give it credit for, and there was an exactly perfect blend of "OMG what??" and "oh good!" sprinkled among the various characters and their capers to make for a satisfying adventure indeed. I need to remember that I love his ...more
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Historical adventure story for girls 5 15 May 04, 2014 06:05AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

British children's and young adult author Mary Hooper was born in 1944, in Barnes, South West London. She left school at fifteen, and went to work as a window dresser, and then as a secretary. She eventually returned to school, as an adult student, earning a degree in English from Reading University. Hooper began