Derek Parker Nell Gwyn

ISBN 13: 9780750927048

Nell Gwyn

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9780750927048: Nell Gwyn
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Nell Gwyn Entertains the reader with the story of the actress nell Gwyn, daughter of a brothel keeper who became Charles II's favorite mistress.

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About the Author:

Derek Parker is a bestselling writer and reviewer, and he has worked as a journalist, and as a freelance intereviewer and presenter for BBC radio. His previous books include John Donne and his World (1973), Familiar to All: William Lilly and Seventeenth Century Astrology (1975), the bestselling The Compleat Astrologer (1975), and Parkers' Astrology (1991). Pompilia: A Roman Murder Mystery is due for publication in June 2001.

From Publishers Weekly:

Lively, pretty and good-humored, the subject of this well-documented popular biography was the adored mistress of Charles II of England. Born to a mother who operated a brothel, Gwyn (1650-1687) pulled herself out of poverty by launching a successful acting career. Gwyn, who had initially worked in the theater for the legendary Mary Meggs (aka "Orange Mall") as an orange salesgirl and perhaps a prostitute, made her stage debut in the mid-1660s, when women were first allowed on the English stage. Parker, a British writer and reviewer, presents an interesting overview of this radical step and its effect on 17th-century English theater. Drawing on Samuel Pepys's Diary, as well as numerous theatrical and social histories, Parker traces his subject's professional roles, which were, for the most part, limited to comedy. As her intimate relationship with Charles II grew, Gwyn no longer needed to work to support herself. Charles, who had a wife and many other mistresses, never gave Gwyn a title, but he did finance a nice home for her and provided for the two sons that he fathered by her. Parker does a commendable job of capturing the court intrigues and rivalries among the mistresses and the queen, who, for the most part, understood that her role was to tolerate the king's indiscretions. She even came to befriend some of his other women, including Gwyn, who was likewise embraced as the most popular of Charles's loves, both by Charles himself and by the public, who reveled in her pleasant nature and unpretentious style. On his deathbed, Charles is said by some to have pleaded that "Nelly might not starve." Gwyn was granted a pension by the new king and died two years later of either apoplexy or syphilis. B&w illus.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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ISBN 10:  0750919922 ISBN 13:  9780750919920
Publisher: Npi Media Ltd, 2002
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