Forever Amber (1947)
- Summaries (3)
In seventeenth-century England, Amber St. Clair aims to raise herself from country girl to nobility, and succeeds, but loses her true love in the process.
Amber St Clair means to get on in life and despite a poor background knows she has the assets to do it. Husbands, lovers, prison and a liaison with King Charles II form a tapestry of apparently calculating ups and downs, although in fact the one love of her life, Bruce Carlton, is never far from Amber's thoughts.
Amber St. Clair is 16-years-old by the time the revolution of Oliver Cromwell is ended and the House of Stuart has returned to the British throne in 1660, and she is none too happy in the home of her Puritanical foster parents, and soon departs for London under the reluctant "patronage" of Bruce Carlton. Amber encounters a lot of patrons as she climbs to the top lying on her back. Carlton goes off on some privateering business in the Colonies and Amber is swindled out of the money he left her. She goes to prison, has Carlton's child there (which he doesn't know about until years later), and escapes prison with the aid of highwayman Black Jack Mallard, who soon has her working as a decoy and other odd jobs, using her non-monetary assets, for his gang. She is caught and arrested by Captain Rex Morgan who, for considerations duly delivered, places her in the theatre, where she enjoys the King's protection. There, while pounding the boards, she first attracts the attention of King Charles II and also the Earl of Radcliffe. She marries the Earl and hits her peak when she becomes the King's "favorite." ("Time Magazine" was fond of calling such relationships "great and good friends.") Carlton returns from Virginia with his bride and wants to adopt his and Amber's child, but also takes time out to kill Morgan in a duel, based on but not supported by Amber's long-vanished honor. Amber still wants Carlton and sets his wife up to be compromised, but this fails and she is "found out" and the King is a bit hacked about all the going-ons, and she is soon no longer his favorite. Carlton returns to America with their child, and Amber is reduced to accepting a supper invitation from the King's equerry. But you can't keep a good girl down and, what the hey, tomorrow's another day.
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