Is there a book that gives a general overview of the Restoration era, particularly re: life in the King Charles II's court and its main players?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is literature that comes out during the time of the Restoration and which illustrates the situation of the re-taking of the throne by Charles II.  However, your inquiry seems to be for works that are available in modern literature and that would explain the period of the Restoration from a modern perspective and recounting the events of that time.

A good pointer is to stick to specific historians and authors that are excellent in this field. Antonia Fraser, Nancy Mittford, and Allison Weir, are three of the most influential and most sought-after biographers of Royal families and historical events. As a professor I can certainly recommend Antonia Fraser as a number one choice because I am partial to authors who can make biography and history exciting.

Antonia Fraser, who is also a world-wide favorite in terms of her great sources of information, has published an excellent book titled: Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration. In typical Fraser fashion, she begins her story from Charles II's early life and ancestry, then explains the Restoration period in detail, and then describes his later years as King. This book is recommended because Fraser's sources of information always add on witty and never-known details of Charles II's life that color the reading and make it quite enjoyable.

Lady Antonia also published King Charles II which is another biographical look at King Charles's life as well as an excellent biography on Oliver Cromwell titled Cromwell: Our Chief of Men which is is highly recommended.

Again, when it comes to biography and history it is best to research names of authors that show a unique skill for re-telling facts in a manner that is both engaging and intellectually-challenging. Antonia Fraser is one of those authors and her books on Charles II are excellent.