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Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire - Amanda Foreman
Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
by: (author)
3.72 145
The winner of Britain's prestigious Whitbread Prize and a bestseller there for months, this wonderfully readable biography offers a rich, rollicking picture of late-eighteenth-century British aristocracy and the intimate story of a woman who for a time was its undisputed leader.Lady Georgiana... show more
The winner of Britain's prestigious Whitbread Prize and a bestseller there for months, this wonderfully readable biography offers a rich, rollicking picture of late-eighteenth-century British aristocracy and the intimate story of a woman who for a time was its undisputed leader.Lady Georgiana Spencer was the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and was nearly as famous in her day. In 1774, at the age of seventeen, Georgiana achieved immediate celebrity by marrying one of England's richest and most influential aristocrats, the Duke of Devonshire. Launched into a world of wealth and power, she quickly became the queen of fashionable society, adored by the Prince of Wales, a dear friend of Marie-Antoinette, and leader of the most important salon of her time. Not content with the role of society hostess, she used her connections to enter politics, eventually becoming more influential than most of the men who held office. Her good works and social exploits made her loved by the multitudes, but Georgiana's public success, like Diana's, concealed a personal life that was fraught with suffering. The Duke of Devonshire was unimpressed by his wife's legendary charms, preferring instead those of her closest friend, a woman with whom Georgiana herself was rumored to be on intimate terms. For over twenty years, the three lived together in a jealous and uneasy ménage à trois, during which time both women bore the Duke's children—as well as those of other men.Foreman's descriptions of Georgiana's uncontrollable gambling, all- night drinking, drug taking, and love affairs with the leading politicians of the day give us fascinating insight into the lives of the British aristocracy in the era of the madness of King George III, the American and French revolutions, and the defeat of Napoleon. A gifted young historian whom critics are already likening to Antonia Fraser, Amanda Foreman draws on a wealth of fresh research and writes colorfully and penetratingly about the fascinating Georgiana, whose struggle against her own weaknesses, whose great beauty and flamboyance, and whose determination to play a part in the affairs of the world make her a vibrant, astonishingly contemporary figure.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9780375753831 (0375753834)
ASIN: 375753834
Publisher: Modern Library
Pages no: 456
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Lisa (Harmony)
Lisa (Harmony) rated it
4.0 Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
This is obviously a well-researched biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, a figure of political and social consequence from her teen years when she married the duke in 1774 to her death in 1806. The book is studded with the surviving letters by her and about her that Foreman traveled throug...
Hipster Ariel's Literary Grotto
Hipster Ariel's Literary Grotto rated it
3.0
It was a good book and an interesting subject; however, the author's prose is so lifeless that it was hard to get through. I found myself struggling to keep my eyes on the page.
Bettie's Books
Bettie's Books rated it
4.0
British Aristocracy - 18th C. Unabridged.From wiki: Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (née Spencer) 7 June 1757 – 30 March 1806 was the first wife of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, and mother of the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Her father, the 1st Earl Spencer, was a great-grandson of the 1st Duke...
Reading Junkie
Reading Junkie rated it
3.0
Georgiana was a very interesting lady - on one hand, she was terribly insecure in her personal relationships and spent ridiculous amounts of money on gambling, while on the other, she was a loyal friend and shrewd politician in an age where women didn't have much power. She managed to hold her own ...
Kim Reads and Bakes
Kim Reads and Bakes rated it
5.0
I loved this book. I expected it to be well-written and informative, but it was so much engaging than I ever could have anticipated. It is easy to see why Amanda Formeman might have fallen a little in love with Georgiana; indeed, it is difficult to see how anyone could fail to do so. Here is a woman...
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