Betka Zamoyska

The Actress, the King, and Squintabella

Nell Gwyn: A Biography

By

Charles II has come down in history as a swashbuckling gallant who bedded every pretty lady who caught his fancy. According to this revealing and entertaining biography, by one of Nell Gwyn’s direct descendants, there was a set of back stairs in the Palace of Whitehall used specifically for the king’s assignations with women, ‘both casual and regular’. The Page of the Royal Bedchamber, Keeper of the King’s Private Closet and Keeper of His Majesty’s Backstairs, William Chiffinch, vetted all those who came and went, and kept a register of them, while his wife acted as the king’s procuress.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,