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Dec 30, 2008

Review: "Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder" by Mary Lovell

This is a non-fiction account of Elizabeth 'Bess' Hardwick/Cavendish/St Low that rivaled Elizabeth I's grandeur or wealth, but it does not get stuck in a rut of just stating facts. It is told as a well-researched story and gives a lot of background also to the period of Mary Queen of Scots captivity in England. The 'gaoler' (person paid to be ther keeper/jailer) being Bess's husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury thus brings about the effects to their marriage.

From Bess's humble beginnings and her first marriages and children, it goes on to the difficulties of her final marriage between George, Earl of Shrewsbury and Bess, and how George deals with Mary, Queen of Scots vs. Elizabeth, Queen of England, and balancing the Queens with his Wife.Bess is also the grandmother to the famous Arbella Stuart, and has taken her under her wing after poor little Arbella's parents have each died. Bess has gone through many tragedies of losing loved ones, and has fought in court for what was hers. She was a very strong woman and stood up for herself even in such a man-driven world such as it was to the extreme back then.. except of course for Elizabeth being such a wonderful monarch. But she was definitely Henry VIII's daughter, and very shrewd.

I loved this book, it was an excellent biography with a lot of insight into the society of an Elizabethan; very enjoyable as a non-fiction book. Through this book I have new-found admiration of Bess of Hardwick.
I have another book from dad on Arbella, "Arbella: England's Lost Queen by Sarah Gristwood" that I shall read next.

I give the BESS OF HARDWICK 5 of 5 stars!!
Edit: 06/20/2013

I am aware this review had been stolen and completely plagiarized, that's what happens when you post your original content online and have it available since 2008. It would be nice if this wouldn't happen, but hey it helps promote good books so whatever.