The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
From the slums Nell Gwynn gets hers start at a brothel after leaving mam’s at a young age, then proceeds to become an orange seller, then an actress of the theatre before winning the heart of King Charles II.
Nell is a strong willed, pretty independent considering the time. She makes out on her own and tries to secure her future and when her love for theater becomes love for the King, she does what she will to stay in his keep. There was rivalry among his mistresses, assassination attempts, a villain in the shadows and grumbling parliament.
Some of my favorite scenes were the gossip that went on backstage at the theatre and Nell’s camaraderie with her fellow actors. There was love and tragedy and family allegiance.
I am a sucker for historical fiction and this was really good. I don’t know much of royalty or European history, so having books like this gets me interested While I do think in the beginning it had meandering moments never did I want to skip a word.
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