Fifteen years after the publication of Amanda Foreman’s biography, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and five years after Saul Dibb’s movie. The winner of Britain’s prestigious Whitbread Prize and a bestseller there for months, this wonderfully readable biography offers a rich, rollicking picture She won the Whitbread Award for Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. ” Georgiana bursts from the pages of Amanda Foreman’s dazzling biography like the force of. A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE Lady Georgiana Spencer was the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess .

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Both Diana and Georgiana Spencer were born at the family home at Althorp. With her renowned beauty and character, alongside her marriage to the affluent and powerful Duke of Devonshire, the duchess enjoyed preeminence in society and was a high emblem geeorgiana the era.

She had some Victorian descendants who, due to being Victorian, took it upon themselves to clean up their ancestor’s image by censoring or fodeman destroying any duchss that openly discussed Georgiana’s numerous affairs. Memorandums of the Face of the Country in Switzerland is often wrongly attributed to her. I confess that I had no idea who Georgiana was before I picked up this biography, but I was so fascinated by this woman that I had a difficult time laying it aside.

One of the things that I’ve been wondering about for years was the shift in Whig politics during the s and 80s; these wealthy landowners who favored the Revolution to the extent of adopting the Colonists’ colors of buff and blue.

Not content with the role of society hostess, she used her connections to amqnda politics, eventually becoming more influential than most of the men who held office.

She ha a propensity for gambling and in one night could lose more money than she had courage to admit to her husband. A fantastic, in depth look at a classy lady. I can’t understand why history, or this Oxford author, would set this weak, delusional woman up on a pillar just because she threw great parties and was influential in politics.

Double standards for men and women were taken for granted. Yeah right, ‘great’ and powerful people have always been immoral.

The toasting went on for so long that chamber pots were provided, and one French visitor observed that: 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.


Rumours about their relationship had spread like wildfire around the Court at Versailles. Change was rife, fashion extreme and politics were a game that many noble women could play – Georgiana led them all. Of noble birth from the Spencer familymarried into the Cavendish familyshe was the first wife of William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshireand the mother of the 6th Duke of Devonshire.

Amanda Foreman writes with affection about the Duchess, and gives us glimpses into her letters as often as she can so we get a feel for her voice.

The Duchess

However, I will say that she did have some less desirable qualities that manage to make me angry. To her eldest, she wrote, “Your letter dated the 1st of Nov was delightful to me tho’ it made me very melancholy my Dearest Child. Yet her confident public persona hid a multitude of personal troubles.

One more piece was published in the last years of her life, The Passage of the Mountain of Saint Gothardfirst in an unauthorized version in the ‘Morning Chronicle’ and ‘Morning Post’ of 20 and 21 Decemberthen in a privately printed edition in Lady Anne Digby [21].

Jan 11, Christina rated it did not like it Shelves: While it was common for male members of the upper class to have mistresses, it was not common or generally acceptable for a mistress to live so openly with a married couple.

For me, the book gets bogged fevonshire in the minutiae, frequently diverging into lengthy tangents describing in excruciating detail aspects of society and politics that seemed to have only a tenuous connection with Georgiana herself. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

Matthew Parker, Roreman of Ca So I regarded Amanda Foreman’s bio of Georgiana Spencer with a skeptical eye, even after it won some award or other. Thanks a lot, prudes. A gifted young georgianz whom critics are already likening to Antonia Fraser, Amanda Foreman draws on a wealth of fresh research and writes colorfully and devonzhire 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.


With a story like this Amanda Foreman would have been hard pressed to fail in a book on Georgiana, 5th Duchess of Devonshire. Chatsworththe seat of the duke of Devonshire, houses a majority of her letters in historical archives. She was a political activist in an era when the opinion of women neither was sought nor welcomed–and her influence was not inconsiderable–she had such a severe gambling fireman that her losses all but bankrupted the very rich Duchy of Devonshire. Return to Book Page.

She composed poetry as a young girl to her father and some of it later circulated in manuscript and was read by Walpole who said it was “easy and prettily expressed, though it does not express much” and Reverend William Mason who was more favorable with higher opinions. The Duke expected two things from her: In a visit to Foremwn inGeorgiana had become intimately acquainted with Marie Antoinette and the Duchesse de Polignac.

She lives in New York City and London. If you geogiana bankrupt, you borrowed from friends and strangers alike until you were even more bankrupt.

Even her politics were well known.

The Duchess by Amanda Foreman | : Books

She would be the Duke’s mistress and Georgiana’s companion, an unusual set up. Fascism geortiana a complex and controversial subject. The duchess played a key role in formulating, with Thomas Beddoesthe idea of establishing the Pneumatic Institution in Bristol. And those politicians she hobnobbed with? The book goes into more detail about the immorality of the times, the Duchess’s debts, and messed up family life.

Sarah Jennings [22] 2. With the birth of the Marquess of Hartington, the duchess was able to take a lover. Newspaper editors noticed that any report on the Duchess of Devonshire increased their sales.

The Ancient Romans wore very simple clothes similar to those worn by the Greeks, but developed into styles of their own.