One of those indiscriminate historical novels in which the author manipulates facts busily if irresponsibly. Henrietta Maria, whom scholars regard as frivolous but hardly inane, is here, as the fifteen-year-old bride of England's Charles I, the unmanageable Tantrum of the Thames, until tamed by Charles' polished love-making. Also, she realizes she adores her husband after unsuccessfully pursuing Brett Foxfield, Charles' loyal ""Lord Foxe."" But Foxe must deal with his inamorata, Meredith, wed to the Puritan cause until Oliver Cromwell, in a wood, makes a pastoral pass. Foxe and Meredith witness, as friends and subjects, the sad waning of royal power leading to Charles' death. Lots of period pitter-patter--but at least it's a bouncy ride to the scaffold.