We are Bess

We are Bess
Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

A  new exhibition by the National Trust, at Hardwick Hall, built by one of Tudor England's most famous women - Bess of Hardwick, who rose from country gentlewoman to the richest woman in England after the queen.

History remembers Bess of Hardwick as a dynast, a domineering 'shrew', a woman that married and outlived four husbands. Through the voices of modern women in a new exhibition, We are Bess, we aim to change this and show how her story resonates with many women today.

Bess' life has much to say to us today about operating as a woman in a man’s world, the way many experiences of women transcend time, and about how we talk and think about women. And while there has been much progress in many ways, attitudes to women and their experiences are not so very different as they were in her lifetime.

Working with Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, historian  from the University of Roehampton, author and broadcaster, and Dr Emma Turnbull, research fellow at the University of Oxford, We are Bess will retell her story to try to overturn this perpetuated misogynistic narrative, a deeply unfair legacy and misrepresentation of her character.