In this fast-paced and engaging novel, Susan Cooper-Bridgewater makes easy work of Lord Rochester’s daily life. Based on the real life details of John Wilmot, who ascended to his father’s title shortly after the Restoration, the book reads like a jaunty diary. Rochester describes his education, the wooing of his wife, encounters with the Sun King, the keeping of a mistress or two, and being a father. It would be easy to vilify someone with such questionable morals, but the author finds a way to make him amiable, if not unsullied. Like his wife, Elizabeth, the reader hopes that Lord Rochester will find a way to push aside the temptations.
“Goodnight, John. Try and reflect, if you are willing, on your chosen life and all it brings, for your natural brilliance is being extinguished by the lure of a dark, seductive pit where there is but little light and no sanity.” ~Loc. 1038
The author also works Lord Rochester’s poems into the narrative. The poetry is not the best of the era, but it is interesting to see how it can be reflected in his life.
Many thanks to the folks at Matador / Troubadour Publishing for the e-galley.
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Matador (February 13, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces