Set after the execution of Charles I, this book tells the story of Charles II after his forces lose the Battle of Worcester and he is forced to try and escape the country and go into hiding in France. To be honest there isn’t much of a plot to this book. Okay, so we have the would-be king riding about the English countryside, or sometimes walking, trying to escape. But we all know that he does, escape that is, I mean we have all heard of the Restoration right? So the book is more of a character study of Charles II
I am, I discover, a very untidy man.
Look at me. Without my periwig, I am an affront to neatness.
Robert Merival, the narrator of Rose Tremain’s Restoration, is, at the start of this book, a 37 year old doctor. He is one of the king’s favourites, and is utterly devoted to Charles II himself. So much so that he agrees to marry the king’s mistress, Celia, in order to persuade another of the royal mistresses that she is out of the picture. In reality though Charles will continue to see her, and Merival must never fall in love with her. She may be married to Merival, but she is the king’s.