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Bess Of Hardwick

First Lady of Chatsworth

By Mary S. Lovell

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Format: Paperback, 576 pages
Other Information: Section: 16, colour
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 August 2006
Bess of Hardwick was one of the most remarkable women of the Tudor era. Gently-born in reduced circumstances, she was married at 15, wedded at 16 and still a virgin. At 19 she married a man more than twice her age, Sir William Cavendish, a senior auditor in King Henry VIII's Court of Augmentations. Responsible for seizing church properties for the crown during the Dissolution, Cavendish enriched himself in the process. During the reign of King Edward VI, Cavendish was the Treasurer to the boy king and sisters and he and Bess moved in the highest levels of society. They had a London home and built Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. After Cavendish's death her third husband was poisoned by his brother. Bess' 4th marriage to the patrician George, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl Marshall of England, made Bess one of the most important women at court. Her shrewd business acumen was a byword and she was said to have 'a masculine understanding', in that age when women had little education and few legal rights. The Earl's death made her arguably the wealthiest and therefore - next to the Queen - the most powerful woman in the country.

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* Ongoing author PR activity to include media interviews, events and appearances at literary festivals * Review coverage * Submitted for trade promotions * Reading copies available


About the Author

Mary Lovell is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is the author of seven previous biographies including the bestselling THE MITFORD GIRLS.


** Lovell has excelled at bringing the Tudor Age to exuberant life... altogether this is a rattling good read' Hugh Massingberd, MAIL ON SUNDAY ** * The best account yet available of this shrewd, enigmatic and remarkable woman' SUNDAY TIMES ** 'There is much to enjoy in this lucidly written biography' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH ** 'Detailed and fascinating' INDEPENDENT ** 'Impressive' Anne Somerset, THE SPECTATOR

EAN: 9780349115894
ISBN: 0349115893
Publisher: Abacus
Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.1 x 4 centimetres (0.40 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Anne on
Very enjoyably written and easy to read, even for those not terribly familiar with Tudor history and Tudor politics. It helpfully includes family trees showing just why Bess (my Lady of Shrewsbury I should say) got mixed up with several claimants to the English throne, including the ill-fated Lady Jane Gray - the trees are more like lace, so networked and interleaved are the great families of that time. More pictures would have been nice

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