Devices and Desires: Bess of Hardwick and the Building of Elizabethan England

Author:   Kate Hubbard
Publisher:   Vintage Publishing
ISBN:  

9780099590224


Pages:   384
Publication Date:   07 November 2019
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
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Devices and Desires: Bess of Hardwick and the Building of Elizabethan England


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Overview

'The definitive biography' Roy Strong The remarkable story of Bess of Hardwick, her ascent through Elizabethan society and the houses she built that shaped British architectural history. Born in 1521, Bess of Hardwick, businesswoman, money-lender and property tycoon, lived an astonishing eighty-seven years. Through canny choices, four husbands and a will of steel she rose from country squire's daughter to Dowager Countess, establishing herself as one of the richest and most powerful women in England, second only to Queen Elizabeth. Bess forged her way not merely by judicious marriage, but by shrewd exploitation of whatever assets each marriage brought. Wealth took concrete form in her passion for building and she oversaw every stage of the construction of her four houses including Hardwick New Hall, her sole surviving building, which stands as a celebration of one woman's triumphant progress through Elizabethan England. 'A dynamic portrait of Bess's life...' BBC History Magazine

Full Product Details

Author:   Kate Hubbard
Publisher:   Vintage Publishing
Imprint:   Vintage
Dimensions:   Width: 12.90cm , Height: 2.40cm , Length: 19.80cm
Weight:   0.329kg
ISBN:  

9780099590224


ISBN 10:   0099590220
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   07 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

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Reviews

It's high time for a new biography of this extraordinary woman, who was a cross between Chaucer's Wife of Bath and Thackeray's Becky Sharp... Devices and Desires is fluently written and full of vivid colour and detail... This book will take its place rightly as the definitive biography of Bess of Hardwick -- Roy Strong * Country Life * Part biography and part building history, considering along the way the erection of Elizabethan prodigy houses, such as Longleat, Theobalds, Wollaton, and, above all, Bess's Hardwick New Hall. It is in here that we can still see Bess's wit, ambition, creativity and vast wealth... Meticulous... A work of considerable scholarship -- Suzannah Lipscomb * The Spectator * Carefully researched and smartly written... The story of building in the 16th century is an elegant way into the ambitions and preoccupations of Bess's world.... The book's true stars are the buildings and one is grateful to its author for reminding us how wonderful they were -- Nicola Shulman * The Oldie * A dynamic portrait of Bess's life... Hubbard makes creative use of often-overlooked sources, such as lists of purchases, to flesh out Bess's daily life and surroundings, and how she sought to shape both. The fascinating relationship between Bess's biography and her building projects is also brought to the fore. Bess of Hardwick emerges from Devices and Desires as a fascinating and influential woman -- Joanne Paul * BBC History Magazine * An enjoyable retelling of Bess's long and remarkable life...and her astonishing impulse to build -- Richard Hopton * Country & Town House *


Author Information

Kate Hubbard has worked variously as a researcher, teacher, publisher's reader, freelance editor and book reviewer. She currently works for the Royal Literary Fund as a Royal Literary Fellow. Her most recent book, Serving Victoria- Life in the Royal Household, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award. Kate divides her time between London and Dorset. Her interest in Bess of Hardwick began with her love for Bess's only surviving house, Hardwick Hall.

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