The flamboyant yet tragic reign of Charles II is presented in considerable detail in this biography of one of the most notorious of royal mistresses. Barbara Villiers, later Duchess of Cleveland, captured the young king's affections before the Restoration and held her own throughout his long reign, in spite of lesser loves. She seems to have been an unpleasant person despite her wit and beauty. She was selfish, best tempered, mercenary, goading Charles to extravagances that wrecked the House of Stuart. She saw to it that each of their five children was well established in life, and acquired a considerable fortune for herself. A picture of debauchery, intrigue, utter disregard for the welfare of the nation comes to life. Well documented and shows careful scholarship. Lively reading.