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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Historical Fiction.., 12 Aug 2013
By 
jaffareadstoo (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick (Paperback)
Venus in Winter charts the first forty years in the life of Bess of Hardwick, from her early life as a gentlewoman in the service of Lady Zouche, through to her subsequent marriages, and life at the centre of the Tudor court. As one of the most successful women of the Tudor age, there is no doubt that Bess always had her eye on the main chance, and in using her unique appeal, she succeeded in securing an advantageous place in society. Her many marriages, she had four, took her to the very pinnacle of success, but unfortunately, Bess learned that heartbreak came with triumph, and she was certainly no stranger to sadness.

The story reads very easily, there is the same fine attention to detail and the meticulous research we have come to expect from this author's writing. Rich in detail and alive with treachery, the story of Bess of Hardwick is a fascinating read, the complexity of court intrigue and the corruption and greed of some of the major Tudor personalities comes gloriously alive in a tale of classic ambition and ruthless pride.

There is no doubt that had she been alive in the 21st century, Bess of Hardwick would have been a female entrepreneur in charge of a global company, she was feisty, determined, and as a woman placed in the midst of Tudor England her consummate ambition and spirited determination to succeed was unsurpassed.

Another great historical novel from this talented author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will there be a sequel?, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick (Paperback)
I loved this book. Bess has always been one of my favourite historical characters and I have read biographies but this is the first novel I have found relating to her. The story moves along at a good pace and tells of Bess's early life. I hope there will be a sequel carrying on where this one left off particularly regarding her relationship with Mary Queen of Scots as her 4th husband was Mary's jailor for a while. The story shows Bess as a strong woman but also vulnerable and I found myself feeling her terror as well as her happiness. It also showed how she was possibly one of the few women who was friends with Elizabeth Tudor in her early life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick (Paperback)
An absolutely superbly written novel. Historically accurate as far as I could tell having studied the period with no silly anachronisms such as a certain other famous historical novel writer includes. Bagwell does not try to alter history and give credit to the wrong people and her portrayal of Bess of Hardwick is sympathetic but not sycophantic. The reader is drawn right into the period; nothing grates as the behaviour of the characters and the language spoken appear appropriate for the Tudor period. I do hope Bagwell continues the story as this is only about Bess until about half way through her life - and gosh what an interesting life she had. More please!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 1 Aug 2014
By 
Mrs. Maria Austin (Scotland, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick (Paperback)
An enjoyable read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the justice the lady deserved!, 28 Feb 2014
By 
John A. Hunter "John Hunter" (AUSTRALIA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick (Paperback)
Whilst very readable, this book does read like any romance novel.
Maybe this is intentional by the author.
Unfortunately, she does not cover the later part of Bess's live, which is where the main body of her achievement takes place.
In the Authors Note, she criticises the previous authors of Bess's life because the lend only a portion of their books to where she covers up to Bess's 3rd marriage.
If you nothing of Bess Hardwick, then you will enjoy, if you have read Ann Digby's book, then you will be disappointed.
It is a good read but faulty.
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Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick
Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick by Gillian Bagwell (Paperback - 2 July 2013)
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