This guide book tells the story of Hardwick Hall, an Elizabethan architectural gem, designed and built to proclaim the wealth and status of an extraordinary woman.
Bess of Hardwick knew that her hill-top mansion, its tall turrets supporting her stone-carved initials and its facade glittering with thousands of panes of costly glass, would be the marvel of its time.
Today's visitors will still marvel as they use this book to explore Bess's domain, climbing the grand processional staircase to her suite of overpoweringly grand state rooms or the more intimate family floor made cosy by her descendants.
Her collection of precious tapestries and rare needlework hangings on the ground floor is unique, as is the story of hugely wealthy, shrewd and formidable Bess, four-times married, and the most remarkable Elizabethan woman next to the Queen herself.
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