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Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

Amanda Foreman

14,382 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0786226544 / ISBN 13: 9780786226542
Published by Thorndike Press, 2000
Used Condition: Used: Good Hardcover
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Large Print! Ex-library copy with usual stamps and stickers. Nice condition; very gently used - tight binding, clean pages. Very light shelf wear to cover, otherwise great condition. Bookseller Inventory # LPTD7-158M

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

Publisher: Thorndike Press

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Traces the life of the eighteenth-century British aristocrat from her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire to her rise in power, discussing her powerful connections, political influence and accomplishments, and personal struggles.

Review:

Georgiana Spencer was, in a sense, an 18th-century It Girl. She came from one of England's richest and most landed families (the late Princess Diana was a Spencer too) and married into another. She was beautiful, sensitive, and extravagant--drugs, drink, high-profile love affairs, and even gambling counted among her favorite leisure-time activities. Nonetheless, she quickly moved from a world dominated by social parties to one focused on political parties. The duchess was an intimate of ministers and princes, and she canvassed assiduously for the Whig cause, most famously in the Westminster election of 1784. By turns she was caricatured and fawned on by the press, and she provided the inspiration for the character of Lady Teazle in Richard Sheridan's famous play The School for Scandal. But her weaknesses marked the last part of her life. By 1784, for one, Georgiana owed "many, many, many thousands," and her creditors dogged her until her death.

Biographer Amanda Foreman describes astutely the mess that surrounded the personal relationships of the aristocratic subculture (Georgiana and the duke engaged for many years in a ménage à trois with Lady Elizabeth Fraser, who inveigled her way into the duke's bed and the duchess's heart). Foreman is, by her own admission, a little in love with her subject, which can lead to occasional lapses of perspective, but generally it adds zest to a narrative built on, rather than burdened by, scholarship, that is at once accessible and learned. An impressive debut, in every sense. --David Vincent, Amazon.co.uk

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