Dynastic Strategist, Architectural Patroness and Businesswoman: Bess of Hardwick

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury by Unknown Artist, probably 17th century based on a work c.1590, oil on canvas (on display Montacute House, NPG 203) Elizabeth Talbot, or, as she is more commonly known, Bess of Hardwick, was born into a Derbyshire gentry family that became increasingly impoverished and subjected her childhood to hardships, but…

Tudor, Medieval, Art Deco: Old meets New at Eltham Palace

A friend once told me about a country house, just outside London, which was the childhood home of Henry VIII but had also been transformed into an Art Deco masterpiece in the early twentieth century. I found this really hard to visualise – it’s such a clash of different styles! Recently I was fortunate enough…