England's Mistress

England's Mistress : The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton

3.86 (617 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, England's Mistress traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, she clawed her way up through London's underworlds of sex for sale to become England's first media superstar. Nothing could stand in the way of her dreams- except her self-destructive desires. Drawing on hundreds of previously undiscovered letters, and told with a novelist's flair, England's Mistress captures the relentless drive, innovative style and burning passion of a true heroine. In a world of tabloid fame and three-minute wonders, Emma's life is truly a tale for our time.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 34mm | 340.19g
  • Cornerstone
  • ARROW BOOKS LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 16 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0099451832
  • 9780099451839
  • 105,617

Review quote

"This rich and bouncy biography of a driven woman - mad for fashion, mad on passion - makes Posh look like a novice" * Good Housekeeping * "Sparkling like Emma's pawned diamonds ... Finally makes us understand why Nelson needed to be prised out of Emma's embrace to fight Napoleon..." * Daily Mail * "It is the thoroughness of the research and attention to detail that make Kate Williams' new biography of Emma Hamilton so interesting. The iconic Emma has been continuously reimagined since her lover Nelson's death, but Williams offers a new portrait" * The Independent * "Kate Williams has done a wonderful job recreating the life of the woman she wants us to relate to...This is an immensely colourful, readable portrait that revels in Emma's resilience and her ability to surmount what look to us now to be unimaginable odds" * Independent on Sunday * "Gallops along like a gripping novel, with an utterly believable and sympathetic character at its heart" * Chesire Life *show more

About Kate Williams

Kate Williams fell in love with the eighteenth century whilst studying for her BA at the University of Oxford. She has an MA from Queen Mary, University of London and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Her articles and essays have been published in a wide range of books and journals and she is a lecturer and TV consultant, appearing regularly on BBC and Channel 4 to discuss her work. She lives in London.show more

Back cover copy

A dramatic tale of glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, England's Mistress traces the turbulent life of Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, Emma clawed her way up through London's sordid underworld to become the mistress of Lord Nelson, the greatest military hero of the era. Dazzlingly beautiful, she mixed in diplomatic circles and became the confidante of both Marie Antoinette and the Queen of Naples. Nothing, it seemed, could stand in the way of her dreams- except her self-destructive desires. 'Emma famously gets her comeuppance, and her headlong flight to romantic destruction is told with novelistic dash' The Times, Books of the Year 'An immensely colourful, readable portrait that revels in Emma's resilience and her ability to surmount what look to us now to be unimaginable odds' Independent on Sunday 'Sparkling like Emma's pawned diamonds...Makes us understand why Nelson needed to be prised out of Emma's embrace' Daily Mail 'It is the thoroughness of the research and attention to detail that make Kate Williams' new biography of Emma Hamilton so interesting. The iconic Emma has been continuously re-imagined since her lover Nelson's death, but Williams offers a new portrait' Independentshow more

Review Text

"Gallops along like a gripping novel, with an utterly believable and sympathetic character at its heart"show more

Rating details

617 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 28% (173)
4 39% (239)
3 26% (162)
2 6% (36)
1 1% (7)

Our customer reviews

I found this to be a very interesting book. Emma coming from a very low class back ground rises to become one of the most well known women of the time, marrying well to become Lady Hamilton. Then the mistress to Lord Nelson Hero of England. This journey involves prostitution becoming a mistress/courtesen and artists model. Heaps of intersting facts, on poverty, prostitution, politics, gambling, debt and high society in the the late 1700's to early 1800's. I found the the way illigitimate children were treated and Emmas friendship with the Queen of Naples particulary interesting. This book is a easy read and the facts are presented well and usually interestingly. The paintings showing what the books characters looked like bring them alive. It is occasionally slow but it is worth over looking that as overall it is interesting. I Recommend this for the reader who wants a bit of history without getting bogged down with dry facts and figures. If I could give half stars I would probably have given this 3 and a half stars.show more
by Dianne Hopcroft
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