Goddess of The Green Room, by Jean Plaidy-Victoria Holt
Let me just start by saying that I’ve moved this book way up my list of favourite Plaidys. In fact, right now it stands as number 1.
Goddess of The Green Room is about the life of the famous 18th century actress, Dorothy Jordan and her eventual long-lasting relationship to George III’s third son, William.
As a very young girl, born and raised in Ireland, Dorothy started out her acting career in order to help support her family. Her father had left the family, and her mother, who was once a well-known actress, could no longer provide for them due to illness. Their only choice for survival was for Dorothy to find work and bring home the bread.
Fortunately, Dorothy had an amazing talent for comedy. She was blessed with a tiny and very swift body, which initially helped her attain roles which were written mainly for boys. Dorothy dressed up in ‘breeches’ or types of tights for these particular roles and this proved to be deliciously comical and enticing to watch. The audiences loved her and propelled her to the status of, much- in- demand- and adored celebrity.
However, Dorothy did not attain this high status easily. She worked incredibly hard and had to endure abuse, rejection, failed loves, a failed marriage, being the sole provider for numerous children and other family members (including the men in her life)…- and lastly, a royal yet, shaky love relationship that would in the end, vanish.
Although some would say that her role as mistress to William put her in the same category as courtesans or as one who claimed several lovers; In reality, Dorothy was a one-man woman throughout. She was loyal to love and never made any demands- nor was she ever a ‘kept’ woman. In terms of her relationship with William, Dorothy really made him wait. He courted her incessantly- and she consistently resisted. It was a very long and platonic courtship. Finally when she consented, the two went on to have a long and loving relationship that produced ten children; which Dorothy financially supported throughout.
What was most interesting in this delectable read was to find, weaved into the story, the unraveling lives of that colorful George III’s dynasty. Goddess of the Green Room combines all the bits of notable history involving the individual monarchs and other noteworthy figures of the times. For instance, we get a glimpse of George IV’s failed marriage to Caroline of Brunswick, his Maria, all of his glamour and obsessions, George III’s illness and disappointment with his sons, (we also discover why the famous ‘eh’ at the end of his sentences)- and there’s even a section with Perdita. We experience it all as the pieces of the puzzle come together perfectly.
Not only is this an engaging read, its brilliant storyline is inviting with historical accuracy and colorful characters. Goddess of the Green Room exceeded all my expectations. This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
Interesting Tid-bit: I was intrigued by Plaidy’s dedication at the beginning of the book:
‘For William’s and Dorothy’s Great-Granddaughter, HERBE ELSNA - With great admiration for her work, gratitude for her friendship and love for herself’
This inscription is what actually led my curiosity- and I just had to read the book.
And now, to wrap up the HF Bloggers Round Table Event...here's another Plaidy GIVEAWAY!!!
THE MIRACLE AT SAINT BRUNO'S, by Philippa Carr (Plaidy pseudoname)
How to Enter:
1 Chance…leave a comment and tell us which is your favorite Plaidy book.
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This giveaway is open to international and ends September 21st.