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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vivid Evocation of Place, Time, and, Personality
Having just visited Bolsover Castle,(A wonderfully evocative place with a superb guide book written by Lucy Worsley.) I was very keen to read Ms Worsley's book. Having been captivated by the castle, I wanted to know much more about the man, William Cavendish, grandson of Bess of Hardwick, who created, and lived at this astonishingly beautiful and romantic place.
Ms...
Published on 23 Sept. 2007 by Sacabel

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars snapshots
'Cavalier' follows the life of William Cavendish by a series of 'snapshots' of his life at different moments, e.g. the day the royals visit his 'great house' and are treated to a masque, or the day he loses the battle of Marston Moor. The amount of research Lucy Worsley has done must have been impressive and the level of detail to which the houses, the food, the clothes...
Published 21 months ago by M. Baerends


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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vivid Evocation of Place, Time, and, Personality, 23 Sept. 2007
Having just visited Bolsover Castle,(A wonderfully evocative place with a superb guide book written by Lucy Worsley.) I was very keen to read Ms Worsley's book. Having been captivated by the castle, I wanted to know much more about the man, William Cavendish, grandson of Bess of Hardwick, who created, and lived at this astonishingly beautiful and romantic place.
Ms Worsley has written a brilliant biography of not just the man, but of the houses he inhabited with his household, and of his trials and tribulations. Ms Worsley manages to bring William Cavendish vividly to life with frequent quotations from his letters and poetry.(Is there a book of his poetry?)As if this was not enough Ms Worsley also manages to inform and educate about the period, which is at times amusing and at ohers sad. I smiled, I laughed, I even shed a tear. One review I read said "The intriguing personality of the man.......glimmers, flickers-but never quite glows into life." For me William Cavendish did not glimmer, flicker,or glow he positively burned brightly. For anyone interested in the Cavendish dynasty or history. I commend Ms Worsley's book whole heartedly. I would be astonished if you were disappointed.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new type of architectural history, 2 Oct. 2007
I thought that this book was absolutely fantastic. It must be very hard to bring architecture to life in words but Ms Worsley does this brilliantly.
The approach of taking a few days in Cavendish's life and structuring the book around this is so much better than a boring and traditional chronology of events.
Ms Worsley seems to be one of a new generation of historians who understands peoples real lives- I look foward to reading her next book!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read!, 10 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Cavalier: The Story of a 17th Century Playboy (Paperback)
Even if you're not a historian you'll enjoy this book. And if you are a historian, you'll appreciate the detailed research that underpins it. The story, the lively writing style and the crazy cast of real characters just won't let you go. Bolsover Castle is certainly the place to visit after reading the book - think of it as the original party palace! I've just bought the paperback after reading the hardback in the library. More please Lucy Worsley!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look at the cover, read the book and then look again., 12 July 2010
By 
Virge JAMES (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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The title is inviting but I did not expect the page turner the book proved to be.
Lucy Worsley takes us into the world of the First Duke of Newcastle with such energy and gusto and descriptive detail that the whole era comes to life.
Having read the book I just had to go to Bolsover castle, a place I had visited several times but apparently with my eyes closed.
Lucy's great gift is to enter the lives not only of the "great and the good" but the ordinary people who surrounded them and worked for them.
The book is full of wonderful anecdotes. It is clearly well researched as it is based on a PhD,it is authoritative and so well referenced that one can easily follow up any further interest, but above all it is FUN.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cavalier, 2 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Cavalier: The Story of a 17th Century Playboy (Paperback)
Cavalier by Dr Lucy Worsley was a very entertaining read.William Cavendish was really brought to life.Many interesting aspects of living upstairs and downstairs in his beautiful houses and at the Court of Charles I were touched.He was a man of many facets;his poetry, horsemanship ,love for architecture and women and military career were described in a lively and witty manner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and informative tale., 2 Jan. 2012
By 
Miss Mapp (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cavalier: The Story of a 17th Century Playboy (Paperback)
Lucy Worsley has again written a book that could have been oh-so-dry but was actually fascinating. Her story, mainly about William Cavendish, describes the family buildings at Bolsover Castle and Welbeck Abbey in a way that is informative and engaging. A famous horse trainer, he becomes the Cavalier of the title. It covers the period of Charles I through the Civil War and on to the Restoration, including William's exile from Britain.

I really did want to know what these people ate at banquets, the protocol of a Royal visit, how the servants were treated, etc., and was not disappointed. William, with his strengths and many failings, was an interesting subject.
I really enjoyed Worsley's book 'Courtiers', and this was just as engrossing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars snapshots, 13 May 2013
By 
M. Baerends - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cavalier: The Story of a 17th Century Playboy (Paperback)
'Cavalier' follows the life of William Cavendish by a series of 'snapshots' of his life at different moments, e.g. the day the royals visit his 'great house' and are treated to a masque, or the day he loses the battle of Marston Moor. The amount of research Lucy Worsley has done must have been impressive and the level of detail to which the houses, the food, the clothes etc. are described are amazing. Yet I would have preferred a more conventional setup where one just follows the main character from year to year. But that's just grumpy me. 'Cavalier' is a good book, William Cavendish is an interesting character & I had trouble putting the book down. Good stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable fascinating read, 21 Aug. 2011
By 
Strawb "Strawb" (West country. UK) - See all my reviews
I Loved this book. I found every page a fascinating joy to read.
From the language used to smells induced, this is as close as you'll get to using a TARDIS for that hands on feel to history.
Told with such enthusiasm, wicked wit, detail and knowledge.
Lucys love of her subject is infectious, taking you with her into the into the minds and hearts of a 17th Century Cavalier and ALL who surround him. While also giving you a Full running commentary on the great homes that grew around the central charachter.
The detail which Lucy has gone into for this 'novel' is pristine. Hardly a hat pin is overlooked, nor a roof tile forgot. She puts you in the room and let's you know why you're there, how you got there and makes you totaly welcome.
Utterly recommended.
My thanks to previous reviews that inspired my purchase!
They were Right!
Buy, Read, Love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting people and places, 28 Oct. 2013
By 
C. Colley (Lincs) - See all my reviews
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Packed with detail and written in a accessible style, this book gives a fascinating insight into the life of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and his household.
After Sir Charles Cavendish died in 1617, William Cavendish became the head of the Cavendish estates. Welbeck Abbey and Bolsover Castle were his main homes and one of William's first tasks was to finish off building the Little Castle at Bolsover and get it ready for entertaining the royal family.
Overall, this is an interesting account, although I enjoyed the first part of the book more than the latter. I enjoyed reading about Welbeck and Bolsover which are local to me and I'm particularly interested in the history of Welbeck estate.
Bolsover Castle is now owned by English Heritage and open to the public, their website has all the details. Welbeck remains a private estate, although the Abbey is open a few times per year (usually in August and September) for guided tours and these can be booked via the Harley Gallery website. The tour is not to be missed if you are at all interested in Welbeck and its history
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of interesting facts, 8 Jun. 2013
By 
Anthony Whitaker (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Those who have seen Dr Lucy Worsley's many television programmes will know how brilliant she is at dropping little bits of information into her explanations and she does the same in this book. Did you know that, in Restoration England, lettuce was considered bad for the brain or that garlic should not be eaten by ladies (or those who wish to court them)? The first is more surprising than the second, perhaps! A thoroughly enjoyable read - thank you.
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Cavalier: The Story of a 17th Century Playboy
Cavalier: The Story of a 17th Century Playboy by Lucy Worsley (Paperback - 4 Sept. 2008)
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