Kate Mosse OBE

Author Kate Mosse portrait photographed by Rachel Adams for the We are Bess exhibition at Hardwick Hall

"Determined, principled, articulate, enthusiastic, philanthropic, confident, a lover, a stateswoman, a mother, a woman of fortitude, but yet ... jealous contemporaries and historians following in their footsteps, twisted her words and her actions and tried to blacken her reputation. This exhibition not only gives this amazing woman the honour and credit she deserves, but finally gives Bess back her voice."

"This exhibition finally gives Bess back her voice." Kate Mosse
Author Kate Mosse portrait photographed by Rachel Adams for the We are Bess exhibition at Hardwick Hall
"This exhibition finally gives Bess back her voice." Kate Mosse


Kate Mosse is the author of six novels and short story collections, including the multi-million-selling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre, and Citadel. Her most recent novel, The Burning Chambers, has also been an instant bestseller. Her books have been translated into 37 languages and published in more than 40 countries. A champion of women’s creativity, Kate is the Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – the largest annual celebration of women’s writing in the world – and sits on the Executive Committee of Women of the
World. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to literature and women and was
named ‘Woman of the Year’ for her service to the arts in the Everywoman Awards.

Righting the wrongs of history, giving women their voice

Kate has provided key opportunities for womens' voices to be heard.

This exhibition aims to shine a spotlight on Bess’s life and expose the challenges that women faced getting on in the sixteenth century. We pass no judgement on her character or on the choices she made. Instead, we aim to give Bess her own voice back and in doing so reveal that her qualities were human qualities: love, hope, fear, anger, courage, determination, and resourcefulness. 

Portraits for We are Bess hang with the historic portraits in the Long Gallery at Hardwick

Next portrait 

See which other women have found a parallel with Bess's story