Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Review - The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell

I've wanted to read this book since I saw it in a review in early August 2011.

The Restoration is such a wonderful time to write about - I'm surprised that so many authors seem to bypass it - and either go back to the Tudor period, or forward to Regency England. I was completed hooked on this time in English history when I read the novels of Jean Plaidy as a teenager - the love story of Nell Gwynne and King Charles II can be found in the Charles 11 Trilogy . Their content is a bit dated now, and yet,  the books capture the historical period very well.

Avon 2011

Nell Gwynne is a ragged ten year old when she watches King Charles II make his triumphant return to London in the Spring of 1660. London is rejoicing following the end of Cromwell's rule, and the city is soon to become the debauched centre of Europe. Into this world of prostitution and corruption young Nelly makes her way, first as an orange seller in the flourishing theatres, and then as one of the first female actresses.

Nell is a lively and very popular attraction, and as such is the focus of incessant male attention, but it is her relationship with King Charles that will alter the course of her life forever.

The book is a beautifully written and lively romp through Restoration England. Gillian Bagwell has captured the very essence of the period with a charm and wit that keeps you turning the pages.

The Darling Strumpet is saucy, and sexually explicit throughout, but overall the humour and the sheer joie de vivre shines through, and emphasises the utter glory of being alive and young in one of the most glittering of Royal courts.

It  comes with a recommendation by one of my favourite authors 
" Richly Engaging" Diana Gabaldon 

I loved it.


I'm delighted to discover that Gillian will have a new book The September Queen  out in the US in November 2011, and then published later in the UK in 2012.......and there are already plans for a third book about Bess of Hardwick.

Don't you just love it when you find a new favourite author !!!!


  1. I loved this one too.
    Am really looking forward to Gillian's next novel already.

  2. Hi Dizzy C - it was your review of The Darling Strumpet that prompted me to get a copy !!

    Thank you for introducing me to a new author.


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