We Are Bess: Telling A Tudor Woman’s story through the Prism of Modern Women

Photographer Rachel Adams took this picture of me and other women for an exhibition at Hardwick Hall

Bess of Hardwick was an extraordinary success. In the late sixteenth century, she became the second richest woman in the country after Elizabeth I. She built four houses, married four times, and overcame all the century’s obstacles to female ownership and achievement. Along the way she experienced great loss and hardship – two children and four husbands died, at times she had massive debts and lawsuits against her, and her last, broken marriage became a national scandal.

I was asked to be part of this exhibition in which women – from household names to women from the local Derbyshire community – were photographed by talented photographer Rachel Adams for portraits to hang alongside a collection of fine Tudor portraits, including Bess herself, in the Long Gallery at Hardwick Hall.

Bess of Hardwick: 1527 to 1608