Rebecca Tyrrel: Illiterate all her life, a Smythson's diary would have meant nothing to Nell Gwyn
Who knew that Samantha Cameron is the direct descendant of Nell Gwyn? She is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter of Charles II's mistress.
Although this is going back to the 17th century, it still seems a stronger claim to being less posh than SamCam's insistence, "I grew up near Scunthorpe". While technically correct, what she forgot to add in all the excitement of unveiling her commonness was that the house in question stands in the 300 acres attached to the Sheffield family seat of Normanby Hall ("the jewel of North Lincolnshire").The beginnings of "pretty, witty Nell", as Samuel Pepys knew her, were a little humbler than that. The daughter of a brothel-keeper, she caught the kingly eye while hired by a former whore, Mary Meggs, to sell fruit at the theatre. She went on in that same theatre to become a star of Restoration comedy. Illiterate all her life, a leather-bound Smythson's diary would have meant nothing to her. Oranges were the only fruit, and David Cameron would approve of that. In 2006, he criticised WH Smith for selling the Terry's chocolate version, rather than the vitamin C-laden one Nell flogged at sixpence a time.
- Hi, friends of Sam,
I'm so pleased to be able to start the diary from the first day - I came in mid-way the last time.
Sam is a recurring character in my novel about Nell Gwynn, "The Darlingn Strumpet," and the book takes Nell through her rise from the streets to the heady world of the theatre, selling oranges and then becoming a beloved comic actress.
I was tickled when I learned a few years ago that Samantha Cameron was descended from Nell.
Also, Diana, the Princess of Wales, was descended from Charles II. Assuming William eventually succeeds to the throne, he will be the first descendant of Charles II to become king! About time!
- Now then, Rebecca Tyrrel of the Independent, just because you are illiterate, it does not follow that a book means nothing to you. (Perhaps she was implying that a "whore" - I hope that was her word and not yours, Terry - is unlikely to have appreciated an artefact such as a book. That, too, is tendentious.)
The link will take you to what Rebecca Tyrrel's prose.
TerryOn Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 1:54 PM, IAN GREENWOOD <iangreenwood2@...> wrote:Now then, Rebecca Tyrrel of the Independent, just because you are illiterate, it does not follow that a book means nothing to you. (Perhaps she was implying that a "whore" - I hope that was her word and not yours, Terry - is unlikely to have appreciated an artefact such as a book. That, too, is tendentious.)
- Sarah Ferguson and Camilla Parker-Bowles are also both descended from Charles II via Charles Lennox, son of Charles II and Louise de Kerouaille.Jenny