A thrilling debut novel starring one of history's most famous and beloved courtesans.
From London's slums to its bawdy playhouses, The Darling Strumpet transports the reader to the tumultuous world of seventeenth-century England, charting the meteoric rise of the dazzling Nell Gwynn, who captivates the heart of King Charles II-and becomes one of the century's most famous courtesans.
Witty and beautiful, Nell was born into poverty but is drawn into the enthralling world of the theater, where her saucy humor and sensuous charm earn her a place in the King's Company. As one of the first actresses in the newly-opened playhouses, she catapults to fame, winning the affection of legions of fans-and the heart of the most powerful man in all of England, the King himself. Surrendering herself to Charles, Nell will be forced to maneuver the ruthless and shifting allegiances of the royal court-and discover a world of decadence and passion she never imagined possible.
(Terra's Thoughts) This is a story for the ages and one that will surly reach down and touch the very heart of your soul. A story that will show you that a lady is not just a lady because of her attire, a courtesan who is so well loved by King and Country that she is Queen in all but name and station. A story of rags to riches that keeps Nell grounded, thankful and ever thoughtful of those less fortunate.
Nell Gwynn is a ragamuffin from the poorest of the poor, a child of abuse, lovelessness and poverty but yet a child with a gnawing determination to do whatever it takes to improve her life in any way she can. An intelligent and attractive child that brings joy in one form or another to all those who meet her.
This is a story of King Charles II who finally comes out of exile to claim his rightful birthright as the true King of England. A fair King but with a verousis appetite for the fairer sex that will provide him with bastards aplenty but with no true heir.
During this reign of power comes hardships that will test England to the brink of oblivion. We see the Black Plague in all it's horror along with the burning of a large portion of London it a great fire. There is much history here and it shows a people of great strength that I don't even think exist today.
The Darling Strumpet is a story that will wreak havoc on all your emotions and yes it did have me crying at the end. I did not cry just for the loss of our characters but for who they truly were and what they represented. Also for a time in history that I would most assuredly would love to visit should we ever be able to time travel.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (January 4, 2011)