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Nell Gwyn: A Biography Paperback – Unabridged, 2 Jun 2006
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'A history of the beautiful, quickwitted, sexually magnetic Gwyn...Beaclerk recreates the heady, politically charge atmosphere of Charles's court' -- Daily Express
Beautiful, quick-witted, good humoured and sexually magnetic, Nell Gwyn remains one of England's great folk-heroines. The story of her exceptional rise from a poor, abusive childhood to the wealth and connections that came with being the lover of one history's most louche kings, is a highly charged mix of lust, money, high politics and love. Oyster wench, Orange seller, comic actress, court jester and loyal friend Nell was the original 'peoples princess'. Charles Beauclerk, a direct descendant of Nell and Charles II, has brilliantly recreated the heady, licentious atmosphere of court and brings new insights into Nell's Career as an actess as well as her domestic life. Probing beneath the suface of her reltionship with the king, the author reveals to us the true nature of Nell Gwyn's world and her unique impact upon it. This is both quintessential restoration romp and epic love story; an account that far exceeds the colour and excitements of the best historical fiction. 'revealilng and entertaining' - Literary Review 'a rich and deep knowledge of the period conveyed in warm, unstuffy and amusing style' - Daily MailSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Charles Beauclerk has researched his book in great depth and detail but he wears his erudition lightly. The historical detail is abundant but never overwhelming. The book is a page-turner that brings Restoration England to life.
The style is as witty as Nell and Charles themselves. The author's humour and wise analyses continually shine out.
The relationship between the commoner Nell and the King really was revolutionary, a class-crossing affair of true love between two kindly, intelligent, humane people.
Their story is related with the same qualities evident in the author, their descendant.
Anyone fortunate enough to attend one of Beauclerk's powerful, inspiring talks on English literature and history already knows that here is a unique individual voice, destined to draw a wide following. Without hesitation I predict he will be counted among the brightest thinkers and writers of his generation.
Charles Beauclerk's first book could have no more fitting heroine than the incomparable Nell Gwyn, from whom he is directly descended. Finally this legendary mistress of Charles II has a biographer who knows his subject and can bring her to life. My advice is to grab a copy and settle into a comfortable chair and surrender to the capable hands of this brilliant young writer. Beauclerk's sharp eye never overlooks a significant detail and his ever-present sense of humor never misses the chance to share a smile or a laugh.
And when the inevitable movie comes out, you will say with conviction: "Oh, but you should really read the book!"
But were they so unlikely a pair? Both were children of hardship: Nell, scrambling from poverty and probable illegitimacy to theatrical stardom, then upward to precarious glamour as the King's mistress, and Charles, for eleven years an imporverished, apparent loser scrambling to keep himself going, even to stay alive, in Europe while the Commonwealth ruled.
This is the first time I've gotten much of a feel for what Charles was like as a person, and one of Beauclerk's special skills appears to be character analysis. What an interesting comment on Cromwell's real values was his desire to be adorned in royal regalia after his death. This account of Nell's story is full of similar colorful insights and anecdotes.
I'm familiar with the hardcover edition, and thought those color plates extremely good. Impressively, they are also very well done for this handsome paperback.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How good to be able to see so far back! A good read, mostly of a vivid, colourful and lascivious time which mostly held my complete attention. Respect to the St.Albans inheritancePublished 6 months ago by wonka
An interesting book creating a picture of both Nell and Charles and the world around them. A little bit too much seventeenth century erudition which occasionally distracts from the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by jennifer bartram
Book came looking like it had been in a fight with a librarian 😕Published 17 months ago by rachel birkenshaw
I gave up reading it after 20-30 pages, life's too short and there's too many other good books read.Published on 30 Jan. 2015 by T.W.Garratt
I am very much enjoying this book. It arrived in a timely way and is in excellent condition. Thank you very much for this book which records a remarkable piece of history!Published on 25 Feb. 2012 by Jeanine Reeves
This is the story of a truly extraordinary affair between a commoner and a King, of their lives in London, the Court and the Theatre, as they negotiate the social landmines of... Read morePublished on 14 July 2006 by Susan Campbell
Far more than a mere recitation of dry facts, Charles Beauclerk's biography of the magical life of Nell Gwyn displays rare insight into the human condition, which insights one soon... Read morePublished on 14 July 2006 by Amazon Customer
Alarm bells rang for me when I realised that Charles Beauclerk is a direct descendant of Nell Gwyn and Charles II. He does make it clear that the book is subjective from the start. Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2006 by D. Wight
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