A Pledge of Better Times

Written by Margaret Porter
Review by Anne McNulty

The remarkable figure of Lady Diana de Vere stands at the center of Margaret Porter’s sumptuous, wonderful new novel A Pledge of Better Times, which is set in the turbulent years following the death of King Charles II and the ascent to power of his strident brother James

The de Vere family has served the crown for generations, but Lady Diana’s father, the Earl of Oxford, hates and opposed James II, as does Charles Beauclerk, the Duke of St. Albans, Lady Diana’s secret lover, who decamps to the Continent.

Porter’s narrative dramatizes the bristling rule of James and the arrival of William and Mary – Lady Diana becomes a lady-in-waiting for the new queen and yearns for Charles Beauclerk’s return to England, and throughout the ups and downs of the book’s various plot lines, Porter winningly captures both the dramatic societal upheavals and the sparkling wit and court life of the time, especially in the character of Lady Diana, a wonderful fictional creation.

It is a very rewarding reading experience – I highly recommend it.