Thursday, July 18, 2013

What is Gillian Bagwell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Gillian Bagwell, author of Venus in Winter.

Her entry begins:
I've been reading a lot of historical fiction, which is probably not a great surprise. Just before attending the Historical Novel Society Conference June 21-22 in Florida, I read books by a couple of authors with whom I was going to be on panels.

Deborah Swift's The Gilded Lily is set in seventeenth-century England, largely in London, the same setting for my first novel, The Darling Strumpet. The two books contain some similar themes, of young girls from working class backgrounds struggling to make their way in a tough and brutal society in which women didn't have a lot of options for supporting themselves or taking control of their own lives. Deborah's book has two main characters, sisters who flee to London from the country after robbing the man that one of them worked for. I really...[read on]
About Venus in Winter, from the publisher:
The author of The September Queen explores Tudor England with the tale of Bess of Hardwick—the formidable four-time widowed Tudor dynast who became one of the most powerful women in the history of England.

On her twelfth birthday, Bess of Hardwick receives the news that she is to be a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Lady Zouche. Armed with nothing but her razor-sharp wit and fetching looks, Bess is terrified of leaving home. But as her family has neither the money nor the connections to find her a good husband, she must go to facilitate her rise in society.

When Bess arrives at the glamorous court of King Henry VIII, she is thrust into a treacherous world of politics and intrigue, a world she must quickly learn to navigate. The gruesome fates of Henry’s wives convince Bess that marrying is a dangerous business. Even so, she finds the courage to wed not once, but four times. Bess outlives one husband, then another, securing her status as a woman of property. But it is when she is widowed a third time that she is left with a large fortune and even larger decisions—discovering that, for a woman of substance, the power and the possibilities are endless...
Learn more about the book and author at Gillian Bagwell's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Venus in Winter.

Writers Read: Gillian Bagwell.

--Marshal Zeringue