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The Darling Strumpet Hardcover – Large Print, 2 Apr 2012
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"[A] richly engaging portrait of the life and times of one of history's most appealing characters!"
Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling Outlander series
"Bawdy and poignant ... an ebullient page-turner!"
Leslie Carroll, author of Royal Affairs
"Hard to resist this sort of seduction – a Nell Gwynn who pleasures the crowds upon the stages of London and the noblest men of England in their bedrooms. A vivid portrait of an age that makes our own seem prudish, told with verve, humour, pathos... and not a little eroticism."
C.C. Humphreys, Actor and Author of Jack Absolute.
"Now this was the novel about Nell Gwyn I was waiting for!”
The Incurable Blue Stocking
"An absolute triumph as a debut novel.... [It] is an absolutely brilliant addition to the historical fiction genre and might be the best novel on Nell Gwynn ever. …Nell would have applauded in approval and probably done a little jig to celebrate her tribute.”
Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner
Five Stars! “Gillian Bagwell’s meticulously researched novel takes us from the cobbled, rubbish-strewn alleys of Covent Garden to the Royal Theatre in Drury Lane and into the royal court. She handles the 17th Century London street vernacular with aplomb….. I can thoroughly recommend this book, and look forward to Miss Bagwell's next foray into 17th Century England.”
Historical Novel Reviews
Five Stars! “….the reader is kept in absolute rapture from start to finish!... I enthusiastically recommend The Darling Strumpet and if her debut novel is any indication of the fabulousness we can look forward to in future books by Gillian Bagwell then consider me hooked!!”
Passages to the Past
Five Stars Plus! “For …Restoration England lovers this book is a must…. The sky is the limit for Gillian’s future in historical fiction.”
Five Stars! “This book was just all around solid. The characters were rich and complex, the plot was paced well and the period language felt natural…. I LOVED it…..If you are a Nell fan, or a fan of historical fiction in general, this is a must read, and if you haven't read much his/fic, this book would be a great introduction!”
The Book Buff
“The atmosphere of Restoration London is beautifully rendered in this richly textured novel. Sedan chairs, frost fairs, hot wassail, changeable silks – the details on every page evoke time and place.... I would definitely recommend The Darling Strumpet to anyone looking for a rich and spicy January read.”
The Misadventures of Moppet
“Written in the vein of Philippa Gregory’s Other Boleyn Girl and Tracy Chevalier’s Lady and the Unicorn…Gillian Bagwell is a masterful writer…. A thrilling and enchanting story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.”
The Season for Romance
“A beautifully written and lively romp through Restoration England. Gillian Bagwell has captured the very essence of the period with a charm and wit that keeps you turning the pages… Don't you just love it when you find a new favourite author!!!!”
Jaffa Reads Too
“Bagwell’s presentation of a familiar and popular Restoration-era character brings to life the players, wits, wenches, and mistresses who populated the court of King Charles II…. Bagwell provides rich period flavor through dialogue, scene setting, verses, and quotations from plays in which Nell appeared to such acclaim…. A highly readable debut.”
Historical Novel Reviews
“…as bawdy and engaging as Nell herself was reputed to be. Bagwell’s well-researched novel accurately captures the rowdy, sexy Restoration period…. Romantics will devour this engaging, sexy page-turner.”
“Fans of historical fiction or the Restoration era, or simply desirous of an immersive, fast-paced look into another time, will likely find much to enjoy here.”
“After this fabulous debut piece of work I cannot wait to see what else Gillian Bagwell has for us historical fiction fans.”
“I loved it. I sat down and read it in one sitting. Yup. That good. I found myself caught up in the story and just didn't want to put it down…. This is a very enjoyable book on an extraordinary woman.”
“Nell claims her place in history and Charles Stuart’s heart, a memorable footnote to an era of flourishing theater and outrageous personalities, ever the people’s darling…. The lusty, good-hearted Nell has secured her place in England’s turbulent past, a destitute girl who wins the undying love of the Restoration king. Bagwell does her story justice.”
Curled Up with a Good Book
“Bagwell delights readers with tales of Nell Gwynn's escapades in historically accurate detail…. Nell would have given Madonna and Lady Gaga a run for their money had they been around back then! The Darling Strumpet is a well-told historical romance that will be enjoyed by Anglophiles and fans of the days of old alike.”
“This is probably not a book I will ever re-read. I don’t need to . . . I will never forget it…. Gillian Bagwell spent twenty years researching this, her debut book. The wealth of historical detail makes it obvious that the time was well spent.”
Praise for The Darling Strumpet: "Richly engaging portrait of the life and times of one of history's most appealing characters!" -- Diana Gabaldon "Bawdy and poignant ! an ebullient page-turner!" -- Leslie Carroll, author of Royal Affairs "Hard to resist this sort of seduction -- a Nell Gwynn who pleasures the crowds upon the stages of London and the noblest men of England in their bedrooms. A vivid portrait of an age that makes our own seem prudish, told with verve, humour, pathos! and not a little eroticism." -- C.C. Humphreys, Author of Jack Absolute "! an absolute triumph as a debut novel!. The Darling Strumpet is an absolutely brilliant addition to the historical fiction genre and might be the best novel on Nell Gwynn ever!. Nell would have applauded in approval and probably done a little jig to celebrate her tribute." -- Kayla Posney, Pittsburgh Historical Fiction ExaminerSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
I have struggled to halfway mark thinking it would improve. I now am having to admit defeat and decided life is too short to waste on a poor read. The characters are lacking in depth, and the only descriptive passages that have any detail to speak of are raunchy sexual paragraphs which the author spends too much time elaborating on.
For readers who like an intelligent historical novel don't waste your time on this -if you are into soft porn then it will suit you nicely.
Anyone who loves historical novels will love this book and it's well worth the five stars.
I couldn't give 2 figs about the historical accuracy - it was a fantastic, enjoyable read from start to finish! I couldn't put it down and immediately (ah the joys of a kindle) downloaded Ms Bagwell's second offering 'The Kings Mistress' which I also loved (although I must admit not QUITE as much as this)
I fell in love with Nell and her surroundings and hated and loved Charles in equal measure. I cried real tears - which to me is always a sign of the best stories!
If you want to learn about history - buy an encyclopedia. If you want a book you can't put down - buy this!
The only bit I didn't like was when it ended!
Looking forward to more from the same author!
Nell is a very likable and well developed character but not very realistic, which is an interesting contradiction. She is well researched and vividly created, but her emotional reactions are not always believable, not even considering the circumstances of her life and upbringing. However, it seems that the author created Nell with love and that makes her a very likable character, which makes up for any shortcomings of this darling fictional strumpet.
The novel is not bad, but my main objection is that there is no mention, either on the description or the actual book, of the extended and sometimes disturbing graphic sex scenes. On the contrary, on the back cover it has a "Content Guide" that includes, "Tear-jerker, Thrills, Drama, Love, Historical, Humor, Friendship", but makes no mention of sex whatsoever. The book is advertised as a historical novel and Nell Gwynn is a very appealing historical figure, so anyone including underaged readers can decide to read it. Clearly, graphic descriptions of things like, the gang rape of a ten year old girl, a lesson instructing Nell how to perform oral sex, or group sex, can be disturbing or even damaging and the readers should be warned what to expect from this, not so innocent, historical romance novel.
Nell is soon a very popular attraction, and as such is the focus of quite raucous male attention, but it is her relationship with King Charles that will alter the course of her life forever.
The book is a beautifully written and lively romp through Restoration England. Gillian Bagwell has captured the very essence of the period with a charm and wit that keeps you turning the pages.
It's saucy and sexually explicit throughout, but overall the humour and the sheer joie de vivre emphasises the utter glory of being alive and young in one of the most glittering of Royal courts.
I loved it.
The writer's narrative and dialog voice is gently perfect for the period without forcing the reader into a study of period speech, and the scenes unfold in a fluid, organic way. I moved through Nells' life with each and every bump and shove duly noted. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys an historic, adventurous read that carries a golden heart of truth.
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