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Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builderby Mary S. Lovell
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of The Sisters, a chronicle of the most brutal, turbulent, and exuberant period of England's history. Bess Hardwick, the fifth daughter of an impoverished Derbyshire nobleman, did not have an auspicious start in life. Widowed at sixteen, she nonetheless outlived four monarchs, married three more times, built the great house at Chatsworth, and died one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in English history. In 1527 England was in the throes of violent political upheaval as Henry VIII severed all links with Rome. His daughter, Queen Mary, was even more capricious and bloody, only to be followed by the indomitable and ruthless Gloriana, Elizabeth I. It could not have been more hazardous a period for an ambitious woman; by the time Bess's first child was six, three of her illustrious godparents had been beheaded. Using journals, letters, inventories, and account books, Mary S. Lovell tells the passionate, colorful story of an astonishingly accomplished woman, among whose descendants are counted the dukes of Devonshire, Rutland, and Portland, and, on the American side, Katharine Hepburn.
Chronicles the life of a sixteenth-century impoverished nobleman's daughter who rose to become one of England's most wealthy and powerful women, in an account that describes her four marriages, witness to four monarchies, and building of the great house at Chatsworth. By the author of The Sisters. Reprint.
About the Author
Mary S. Lovell has written many best-selling biographies, among them The Sisters, about the Mitford family, and Straight on Till Morning, about Beryl Markham. She lives in England.
Table of Contents
Merrie England 1520-40 — Child bride, child widow 1540-7 — Lady Cavendish 1547 — Family matters 1547-51 — Dangerous times 1552-6 — 'Your poor friend' 1556-8 — Sir William St Loe 1518-58 — 'My own sweet Bess' 1559-61 — Lady St Loe in trouble 1561-5 — A very eligible widow 1565-9 — A difficult guest 1569-73 — A dangerous match 1574-5 — Raising Arbella 1576-8 — Enough to alienate the heart 1578-81 — Discord 1582-4 — No winners 1585-6 — Death of a queen 1586-90 — The Dowager Countess 1590-2 — More window than wall 1592-9 — 'In perfect health and good memory' 1600-02 — Sharper than a serpent's tooth 1602-03 — End of an era 1603-08 — A long arm-- 1608 et seq.
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