LindyLouMac's Reviews > The Darling Strumpet

The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell
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's review
Mar 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read from March 09 to 14, 2012

I have rediscovered historical novels since I have been reviewing books here, so I was delighted when a blogging friend of mine Southhams Darling offered to send me a novel she had just finished reading and thought I would enjoy.

Considering this was a first novel I thought it was very ambitious of the author to not only pick Nell Gwynn as her protagonist but rather than just cover a particular period of her life she chose to tell her complete life story. By her own admission in the notes at the end of the novel she has tried to do so as fully and truthfully as possible, keeping to the facts as known as much as possible. I think she has succeeded very successfully and only true historians will pick up the few minor liberties that Gillian Bagwell tells us she altered as to the timing of events. She also copes successfully with a vast cast of characters, the vast majority of which were real life people in Nell's world. With this brilliant first novel there seems no doubt that Gillian Bagwell is going to be a historical fiction writer to look out for.

The story is a bawdy one and the detail in the novel is sexually explicit, but it will make you realise exactly what life was like for this little girl growing up in 17C London. From oyster seller, to courtesan, orange seller to actress. Nell becomes one of London's favourite actresses when she is still a very young woman and her beauty, personality and ambitious dedication soon make her a favourite of Charles the Second. It is her relationship with Charles that changes her life for ever, as the novel progresses you can feel just how much this famous historical figure was passionate in her love for the King. A wonderful fictional read about real people and places.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Cathy (new)

Cathy sounds interesting.

LindyLouMac Cathy it is really good and if you like I will pass it on to you. I also meant to give 'Room' to M for you the other day and stupidly forgot, sorry.

message 3: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Yes I would love to read it, thanks Linda.

LindyLouMac Ok, have put both books aside for you Cathy.

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