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Download England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton, by Kate Williams Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (249 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Williams Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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She was the most famous woman in England—the beautiful model for society painters Joshua Reynolds and George Romney, an icon of fashion, the wife of an ambassador, and the mistress of naval hero Horatio Nelson. But Emma Hamilton had been born to the poverty of a coal-mining town and spent her teenage years working as a prostitute. From the brothels of London to the glittering court of Naples and the pretentious country estate of the most powerful admiral in England, British debut historian Kate Williams captures the life of Emma Hamilton with all its glamour and heartbreak. 

In lucid, engaging prose, Williams brings to life a complex and intelligent woman. Emma is sensuous, generous, artistic, at once shamelessly seductive and recklessly ambitious. Willing to do anything for love and fame, she sets out to make herself a star—and she succeeds beyond even her wildest dreams. By the age of twenty-six, she leaves behind the precarious life of a courtesan to become Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton—the aging, besotted, and probably impotent British ambassador to the court of Naples. But everything changes when Lord Nelson steams into Naples harbor fresh from his triumph at the Battle of the Nile and literally falls into Emma’s adoring arms. Their all-consuming romance—conducted amid the bloody tumult of the Napoleonic Wars—makes Emma an international celebrity, especially when she returns to England pregnant with Nelson’s baby. England’s Mistress captures the relentless drive, the innovative style, and the burning passion of a true heroine.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Absorbing, well-crafted…Williams’ biography is well paced and pitch perfect, as competent in its storytelling as it is in its authoritative analysis of eighteenth-century class distinctions.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A biography of the ever-intriguing Emma Hamilton that reads like a piece of fiction.”


  • “Read by Josephine Bailey, whose clear and mellow British accent gives the reading an added touch of authenticity, this book is both edifying and entertaining….A mesmerizing story.”

    Large Print Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Helena | 2/15/2014

    " I was just re-organising my books and saw this one.It was an excellent read It describes the life of Emma Hamilton born with nothing but a hard life ahead of her who becomes the most famous woman of her times .This is a serious biographical work which is extremely readable . I have lent it to many friends .I have subsequently read a few novels on the life of Nelson .What a short man of few personal charms but his fame . Nelson's harbour is worth a visit in Antigua to get a feel of what life must have been like for a sailor in those times . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cheryl | 2/10/2014

    " See the one and two star reviews below - I couldn't agree more. Could we really get any more speculative about this woman's life? I doubt it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liz | 1/26/2014

    " This was a sad look into a life that seemed desolate. The biography itself was easy to read, it was written almost like a story, but the subject matter was sad and left me a little depressed, but also fascinated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michele | 1/26/2014

    " This has been very interesting. I'm learning a lot about this era, as well as about Emma Hamilton. "

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