Gillian Bagwell’s richly detailed historical novels bring to vivid life England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Venus in Winter, based on the first forty years of the life of the formidable four-times widowed dynast Bess of Hardwick, begins with Bess’s introduction to the court of Henry VIII just as the king weds Anne of Cleves. Bess quickly learns to navigate the treacherous waters, and survives the turbulent reigns of five Tudor monarchs to become of the most powerful women in the history of England.
The Darling Strumpet puts the reader smack in the tumultuous world of seventeenth-century London, charting Nell Gwynn’s meteoric rise from the grimy slums to triumph as a beloved comic actress, through the cataclysmic years of the last plague epidemic and the Great Fire of 1666, to the licentious court and the arms of the king. The novel was a 2012 RITA finalist in the category of Best First Book.
The September Queen (U.K. title The King’s Mistress) is the first fictional accounting of the extraordinary real-life adventure of Jane
Lane, who risked all to help the young Charles II escape after the disastrous Battle of Worcester in 1651, saving his life and the future of the English monarchy.
Gillian uses her years of experience in theatre an actress, director, and producer to help authors give effective public readings, through workshops and private coaching.
Her life-long fascination with British history and dedication to research infuse her novels with a compelling evocation of time
and place, and provide fodder for her non-fiction writing, including articles on “Frost Fairs on the River Thames” (http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/2011/01/guest-post-giveaway-gillian-bagwell-the-darling-strumpet.html),
“The Royal Miracle: The Biggest What-If in English History,” (http://www.historyinanhour.com/2012/07/14/charles-ii-royal-miracle),
and “1660: The Year of the Restoration of Theatre.” Gillian blogged her research adventures for The Darling Strumpet (http://www.nellgwynn.blogspot.com)
and The September Queen, including the day-by-day events of Charles II’s dramatic escape after the Battle of Worcester
Gillian has taught Writing Great Historical Fiction for the YARWA and OIRWA chapters of RWA, and will be repeating those courses in 2014.
Please visit Gillian’s website, www.gillianbagwell.com, for more on her books and upcoming events.
*I'm happy to speak at libraries, bookstores, writers' groups, and readers' groups, but this form doesn't seem to let me mark all those options!