Devices and desires : Bess of Hardwick and the building of Elizabethan England / Kate Hubbard.
- Other Title:
- Bess of Hardwick and the building of Elizabethan England
- First U.S. edition.
- New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 
xxx, 354 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 24 cm
- Shrewsbury, Elizabeth Hardwick Talbot, Countess of, 1527?-1608.
Shrewsbury, Elizabeth Hardwick Talbot, Countess of, 1527?-1608.
Countesses -- England -- Biography.
Nobility -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Women landowners -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Great Britain -- History -- Elizabeth, 1558-1603 -- Biography.
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain.
- "The critically acclaimed author of Serving Victoria brilliantly illuminates the life of the little-known Bess of Hardwick--next to Queen Elizabeth I, the richest and most powerful woman in sixteenth-century England. Aided by a quartet of judicious marriages and a shrewd head for business, Bess of Hardwick rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most respected and feared Countesses in Elizabethan England--an entrepreneur who built a family fortune, created glorious houses--the last and greatest built as a widow in her 70s--and was deeply involved in matters of the court, including the custody of Mary Queen of Scots. While Bess cultivated many influential courtiers, she also collected numerous enemies. Her embittered fourth husband once called her a woman of "devices and desires," while nineteenth-century male historians portrayed her as a monster--"a woman of masculine understanding and conduct, proud, furious, selfish and unfeeling." In the twenty-first century she has been neutered by female historians who recast her as a soft-hearted sort, much maligned, and misunderstood. As Kate Hubbard reveals, the truth of this highly accomplished woman lies somewhere in between: ruthless and scheming, Bess was sentimental and affectionate as well. Hubbard draws on more than 230 of Bess's letters, including correspondence with the Queen and her councilors, fond (and furious) missives between her husbands and children, and notes sharing titillating court gossip. The result is a rich, compelling portrait of a true feminist icon centuries ahead of her time--a complex, formidable, and decidedly modern woman captured in full as never before." -- Amazon.com.
- Prologue: Hardwick Hall, 1590
Sir William Cavendish
"Every man almost is a builder"
"My honest swete Chatesworth"
"This devil's devices"
Countess of Shrewsbury
The Scots Queen
A dubious honour
"Great turmoil doth two houses breed"
"The old song"
"Send me accres"
Mocking and mowing
The old hall
"More glass than wall"
"A scribbling melancholy"
"It doth stick sore in her teeth"
"Not over sumptuous"
Afterword: Hardwick Post Bess.
- Originally published as Devices & Desires in Great Britain in 2018 by Chatto & Windus, an imprint of Vintage.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-334) and index.
- Other format:
- Online version: Hubbard, Kate, 1963- author. Devices and desires
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