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“A lively portrait of his famous forebears, along with an account of the theater of the time and the surprisingly parallel worlds of prostitutes and royal mistresses.” Publishers Weekly
Mistress to a King
978-0-8021-4274-0 • $18.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2006
“Charles Beauclerk has the blood of Nell and Charles in his veins and, through his easy, erudite pen, Restoration England comes alive. A book to be savored, slowly.”
Gillian Gill, author of Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale
Written by a direct descendant of the union between Nell Gwyn and King Charles II, Nell Gwyn tells the story of one of England’s great folk heroines. The tale of her incredible rise from an impoverished, abusive childhood to the wealth and connections that came with being King Charles II’s most cherished mistress is among the great love stories of royal history.
Born during a tumultuous period in England’s past, Nell Gwyn caught the eye of King Charles II, the newly restored, pleasure-seeking “merry monarch” of a nation in full hedonistic reaction to Puritan rule. Their seventeen-year love affair played out against the backdrop of the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague, court scandals, and the constant threat of political revolution. Despite his other lovers’ Machiavellian efforts to win the king’s favor and humiliate Nell, the selfproclaimed “Protestant whore” earned the devotion of her king and the love of her nation, becoming England’s first “people’s princess.” Magnificently recreating the heady and licentious, yet politically charged atmosphere of Restoration England, Nell Gwyn tells the true-life Cinderella story of a common orange salesgirl who became mistress to a king.