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The Scandalous Duchess

Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
Length: 17 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Summary

If you will be a great man's mistress, you must pay the price....

The Savoy, 1372. Widow Lady Katherine Swynford presents herself for a role in the household of merciless royal prince John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, hoping to end her destitution. But the Duke's scandalous proposition leaves her life of pious integrity reeling....

Seduced by the glare of royal adoration, Katherine becomes John's mistress. She will leave behind everything she has stood for to play second fiddle to his young wife and ruthless ambition. She will live in the shadows of the most powerful man in England in the hope of a love greater than propriety. But soon the court whispers - whore, harlot, vile temptress - reach the ears of not just John's bride but his most dangerous political enemies.

As the Plantagenet prince is accused of bringing England to its knees, who better to blame than shameless she-devil Katherine Swynford? Dragged from the shadows, Katherine must answer for her sins.

©2014 Anne O’Brien (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Scandalous Duchess

Whilst I have enjoyed other books by Anne O’Brien is this series, the performance of the narrator, Lucy Patterson, irritated me beyond belief. She mispronounced so many words that it spoiled my enjoyment of the story. For example: “vicitudes” instead vicissitudes, “teremity” twice instead of temerity, “preemptory” instead of peremptory, “milestrom” instead of maelstrom. Also her emphasis of certain syllables in words such as decorous, vituperative and vestige was wrong. I shall not be buying a book which she has narrated again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful Love

Katherine Swineford holds a special place for me, I read about this amazing love story when I was young and it still moves me to tears. The fact that John of Gaunt never became a king but his Lancastrian son did and their blood through the Beauforts gave rise to the Tudors often makes he think about destiny. This story, so well told and well narrated is a case of heaping pleasure on pleasure. Enter that world of chivalry, and beauty as well as deceit and malice. Experience a glimpse into a by gone age, the beautiful clothes, the hunting as well as a dripping dilapidated manor all brought alive by a great story teller and adept narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I would wait for the movie

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Its such a fascinating period in history and this is such a strong female character that it seemed sucha shame she was left to utter deep sighs and a bit of bodice ripping.

Would you be willing to try another book from Anne O'Brien? Why or why not?

No I was not overly impressed with the writing style sorry!

Would you be willing to try another one of Lucy Paterson’s performances?

No.

Was The Scandalous Duchess worth the listening time?

a reasonable tube ride book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Soppy

Endless declarations of love just was too much for me, story would have been good if it wasn't for these on and on going chapters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Flat characters and little events

I fought my way through this.
It is literally all about a 'romance', however, I did not care about the characters and did not really feel their connection.
Everything falls quite flat, the character development, the lack of events happening, the conversations.
The main character is almost not her own person, everything she says/thinks/feels is connected to 'The Duke', quite whiny as well.

The performance is really good though - story is just simply lacking.

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OK

Interesting story overall. I feel O'Brien can get a bit Barbara Cartland for my liking. Lots of imagined OTT love scenes, too sickly sweet for me. I don't find this with Gregory. I prefer the links with history and researched facts and men speaking like men, not how teenage girls imagine they will talk. The speaker only made this worse with an exaggerated performance of a dramatic teenager reading her love poetry Still, I got through it (albeit with some eye rolling) and pleased I did as historically it was interesting.

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brilliant

loved the book and narrator was very good with a beautiful voice, captivating from beginning.