The Darling Strumpet

A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and King Charles

Gillian Bagwell - Author

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ISBN 9781101478431 | 384 pages | 04 Jan 2011 | Berkley | 18 - AND UP
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A thrilling debut novel starring one of history's most famous and beloved courtesans.

From London's slums to its bawdy playhouses, The Darling Strumpet transports the reader to the tumultuous world of seventeenth-century England, charting the meteoric rise of the dazzling Nell Gwynn, who captivates the heart of King Charles II-and becomes one of the century's most famous courtesans.

Witty and beautiful, Nell was born into poverty but is drawn into the enthralling world of the theater, where her saucy humor and sensuous charm earn her a place in the King's Company. As one of the first actresses in the newly-opened playhouses, she catapults to fame, winning the affection of legions of fans-and the heart of the most powerful man in all of England, the King himself. Surrendering herself to Charles, Nell will be forced to maneuver the ruthless and shifting allegiances of the royal court-and discover a world of decadence and passion she never imagined possible.

"[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.

"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."
-Kayla Posney, 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."
-Anita Davison, 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!!"
-Amy Phillips Bruno, 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."
-Elizabeth Johnson, Historically Obsessed

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!"
-Kate - 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."
-Helena, 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."
-Beverley Kendall, The Season for Romance

"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."
-Margaret Barr, Historical Novel Reviews

" 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."
-Dolce Dolce

"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."
-David Maine, Pop Matters

"After this fabulous debut piece of work I cannot wait to see what else Gillian Bagwell has for us historical fiction fans."
-Marie Burton,

"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."
-Patty Woodland, Broken Teepee

"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."
-Luane Gaines, 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."
-Fresh Fiction

"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."
-Seductive Musings

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