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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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1 Local Warehouse Great Britain- Hanover to Victorian Period
1 Local Warehouse World History- England Historical Biography

Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

by

Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


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.












Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [423]-432) and index.

About the Author


Amanda Foreman, born in London in 1968, was educated at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and Oxford University, where she received a Ph.D. in history. A freelance journalist and until recently a researcher at Oxford, she has, since the immensely successful publication of Georgiana in the United Kingdom, made numerous television and radio appearances there, including the presentation of a Channel 4 documentary on the life of her subject. Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire is her first book. She lives in New York City and London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375502941
Subtitle:
Duchess of Devonshi
Author:
Foreman, Amanda
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Royalty
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Nobility
Subject:
Women politicians
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Publication Date:
December 1999
Binding:
Trade Cloth
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
454
Dimensions:
9.59x6.59x1.52 in. 1.94 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Royalty
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Hanover to Victorian Period
History and Social Science » World History » England » Historical Biographies

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