- Gwyn, Nell
orig. Eleanor Gwynborn Feb. 2, 1650, London, Eng.died Nov. 14, 1687, LondonBritish actress.She was selling oranges at the Drury Lane Theatre when she became the mistress of its leading actor, Charles Hart, who trained her for the stage. She became the leading comedienne of the King's Company (1666–69) and as "pretty, witty Nell" was in demand as a speaker of impudent prologues and epilogues. She became the mistress of Charles II (1669–85) and was popular with the public, who found her high spirits and frank recklessness welcome antidotes to Puritanism.
* * *▪ English actressoriginal name Eleanor Gwynborn Feb. 2, 1650, London, Eng.died Nov. 14, 1687, LondonEnglish actress and mistress of Charles II, whose frank recklessness, generosity, invariable good temper, ready wit, infectious high spirits, and amazing indiscretions appealed irresistibly to a generation that welcomed in her the living antithesis of Puritanism.Her father, according to tradition, died in a debtors' prison at Oxford during Nell's infancy. Her mother kept a bawdyhouse in the Covent Garden district, where Nell was brought up “to fill strong waters [brandy] to the guests” (Samuel Pepys, Diary, Oct. 26, 1667). In 1664, through the influence of her older sister, Rose, Nell became an orange-girl at the Drury Lane Theatre. Quickly attracting the attention of the theatre's leading actor, Charles Hart (Hart, Charles), whose mistress she became, Nell mounted the stage and probably made her first appearance in December 1665.From 1666 to 1669 Nell was the leading comedienne of the King's Company, playing continuously, save for a brief absence in 1667, while she was the mistress of Lord Buckhurst, afterward 6th Earl of Dorset. She created such popular roles as Florimel in John Dryden's Secret Love, Mirida in James Howard's All Mistaken, and Jacinta in Dryden's Evening's Love. An excellent singer and dancer and much in demand as a speaker of impudent prologues and epilogues, “pretty, witty Nell” was ill-suited to serious parts, yet she was often cast for roles in romantic dramas.Nell became a mistress of Charles II in 1669. Her last stage appearance was with Hart in Dryden's Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards (January 1670), the production of which had been postponed several months for her return to the stage after the birth of her first son by the king in 1670.Established in a fine house and admitted to the inner circles of the court, Nell spent the rest of her life entertaining the king and his friends, living extravagantly, and intriguing against her rivals. She persuaded the king to create her son Charles Beauclerk, 1st Baron Heddington and Earl of Burford and, subsequently, Duke of St. Albans. Her second son, James, Lord Beauclerk (b. 1671), died in 1680. Nell settled her mother in a house in Chelsea, where, in July 1679, overcome by brandy, Mrs. Gwyn fell into a nearby brook and was drowned.Of all the mistresses of Charles II, Nell was the only one beloved by the public. She was small, slender, and shapely, with a heart-shaped face, hazel eyes, and chestnut-brown hair. She was illiterate and scrawled an awkward “E.G.” at the bottom of her letters, written for her by others. She never forgot her old friends and, as far as is known, remained faithful to her royal lover from the beginning of their intimacy until his death and, after his death, to his memory.When Charles II died in February 1685, Nell was so deeply in debt that she was outlawed by her creditors. The king's deathbed request to his brother, “Let not poor Nelly starve,” however, was faithfully carried out by James II, who paid off enough of her debts to reestablish her credit, gave her sizable amounts in cash, and settled on her a pension of £1,500 a year. In March 1687 Nell was stricken by apoplexy and partial paralysis. She died eight months later and was buried in the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
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Nell Gwyn — [Nell Gwyn] (1650–87) an English actor who was the lover of King ↑Charles II for many years. She came from a poor background and could not read or write, but she had two of Charles’s sons. She is thought of as a lively, cheerful and attractive… … Useful english dictionary
Gwyn — Gwyn, Nell (?1650 87) an English actress who became the lover of King Charles II. She sold oranges on the streets of London, and is often shown in pictures carrying a basket of oranges … Dictionary of contemporary English
Nell Gwyn — For other uses, see Nell Gwyn (disambiguation). Nell Gwynn was one of the first English actresses and a mistress of King Charles II of England Eleanor Nell Gwyn (or Gwynn or Gwynne) (2 February 1650 – 14 November 1687) was a long time mistress of … Wikipedia
Nell Gwyn — Nell Gwyn, Gemälde von Sir Peter Lely Nell Gwyn (* 2. Februar 1650 oder 1651 wahrscheinlich in Hereford oder London … Deutsch Wikipedia
Nell Gwyn — Nell Gwynn fue una de las primeras actrices inglesas y amante del rey Carlos II. Nell Gwyn (o Gwynn o Gwynne), nacida Eleanor, (2 de febrero de 1650 14 de noviembre de 1687), fue una de las primeras actrices inglesas que obtuvo reconocimiento… … Wikipedia Español
Nell Gwyn (1926 film) — Nell Gwyn is a 1926 British romance film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish, Randle Ayrton and Juliette Compton. It was based on the novel Mistress Nell Gwynne by Joseph Shearing and follows the life of Nell Gwynne the… … Wikipedia
Nell Gwyn (disambiguation) — Nell Gwyn (1650–1687) was a long time mistress of King Charles II of England. Nell Gwyn may also refer to: Nell Gwyn (1926 film), a 1926 British romance film Nell Gwynn (1934 film), a 1934 British historical drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox… … Wikipedia
Gwyn — (or Gwynn) meaning white in Welsh, may refer to the following:People As given name *Gwyn ap Nudd, a mythical ruler of Annwn. *Gwyn Prosser, a British politician. *Gwyn Nicholls, a Welsh rugby union player. *Cynthia Gwyn Brown, an American model… … Wikipedia
Gwyn — ist ein walisischer männlicher Vorname, abgeleitet von walis. gwyn mit der Bedeutung „weiß, blond, gesegnet“, der auch als Familienname auftritt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Namensträger 1.1 Vorname 1.2 Familienname … Deutsch Wikipedia
Nell Gwyn — Nell Gwynne Nell Gwynne Portrait par Peter Lely (v. 1675). Nell Gwyn (ou Gwynn ou Gwynne), née Eleanor le 2 février 1650 et décédée le 14 novembre 1687, est une actrice anglais … Wikipédia en Français