Nell Gwyn: A Biography
Famously spotted selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Drury Line, Nell's wit and
charm brought her to the attention of one of the theatre's leading actors. Under
his patronage, she soon established herself as the greatest comedienne of her day,
and so caught the eye of Charles II, the newly restored 'merry monarch' of a nation
in hedonistic reaction to puritan rule. Their seventeen-
This vivid, personal portrayal brilliantly recreates the licentious, yet politically charged atmosphere of Charles II's court and casts fresh light on the real Nell Gwyn, on Charles and on the restoration period.
`Charles Beauclerk brings to this book on his ancestress a rich and deep knowledge of the period conveyed in warm, unstuffy and amusing style' Daily Mail
`Succeeds in capturing Nell Gwyn's vivacity, originality and essential sweetness' – The Guardian
'Beauclerk tells Nell's story with obvious relish... a biography that feels like a good long gossip' – The Mail on Sunday
`Revealing and entertaining.' The Literary Review
'Beauclerk paints a lively and detailed picture of Restoration London... very enjoyable.'
"Mr. Beauclerk writes of a time when, if it was good to be a king, it was good to
be his mistress too. He does not fashionably cut his characters down to modem size—and
is himself directly descended from the union of Charles II and Nell Gwyn, of which
he writes with such humor, spirit, and erudition." -
"Shining beauty and dazzling wit brought orange-
"As well as being a cracking good read, this is both a scholarly, sympathetic, mature,
"Charles Beauclerk's grasp of Restoration literature and culture is impressive and
there is nothing he doesn't know about the politics. . . . Nell Gwyn has about it
a humanity, empathy, and freshness of which his subject would undoubtedly approve."
"Charles Beauclerk interweaves the development of Nell's character with a vivid portrayal
of the social worlds of court and stage, in which she played such a memorable part.
In spite of his obvious affection for his ancestress, he provides a well-
"Beauclerk tells Nell's story with obvious relish. He is particularly good on the