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Georgiana - Duchess Of Devonshire Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; Book Club edition (1998)
  • ASIN: B001KH1VNW
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amanda Foreman is the author of the award-winning best seller, 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' (HarperCollins UK; Random House US), and 'A World on Fire: A Epic History of Two Nations Divided' (Allen Lane UK; Random House US). She lives in New York with her husband and five children.

She is the daughter of Carl Foreman, the Oscar-winning screen writer of many film classics including The Bridge on the River Kwai, High Noon, and The Guns of Navarone.

Amanda was born in London, brought up in Los Angeles, and educated in England. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York. She received her doctorate in Eighteenth-Century British History from Oxford University in 1998.

'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' was a number one best seller in England, and best seller for many weeks in the United States. It has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Hungarian, Romanian, Croatian, Turkish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese. The book was nominated for several awards and won the Whitbread Prize for Best Biography in 1999. It has inspired a television documentary, a radio play starring Dame Judi Dench; and a movie, titled 'The Duchess', starring Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes.

In addition to regularly writing and reviewing for newspapers and magazines, Amanda Foreman has also served on a number of juries including The Orange Prize, the Guardian First Book Prize and the National Book Awards.

'A World on Fire' has been optioned by BBC Worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Georgina was truly one of a kind.
Susan K. Noel
Foreman creates a good balance between engaging storytelling and academic rigor, and Georgiana's life is one worth telling.
PadmaPriya
And because she was so prominent a figure, there still exists a great deal of documentation written about and by Georgiana.
Karen Slate

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jim Cole-Rous on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Georgiana - Duchess of Devonshire is a well documented research work by Amanda Foreman. She writes well and adds the amusing sidelights of English Society while endeavoring to objectively present the real person Georgiana Spencer. She names names! Some of the 'Ton' of society were scoundrels to say the least, but we have those in most societies today. What Ms. Foreman does is to show the blatant exhibitionism of the fast set in the mid to late 1800's in England. For those especially in the U.S.A. this work will help them understand how customs have changed with each passing generation.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ellen on March 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book some time ago when it was first published. I heard an interview with the author on NPR and she said that Georgiana was a relative and she became absolutely obsessed with her life while writing the book. It is nonfiction based on the life of Georgiana and it was fascinating. I love to read and I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite books. What a remarkable woman Georgiana was, constrained by the period of time she lived in (18th century England) and the man she was married to. I highly recommend this book. I was glad to see that it is being made into a movie simply because this may lead to more people reading the book. I wonder if the movie will do the book justice. This book is a serious biography by a gifted author, but with a subject matter so engaging that it reads like fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I tremendously enjoyed reading about this aristocratic woman. I now have an enhanced sense of her period and the pressures under which she existed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PadmaPriya on June 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
If I hadn't enjoyed Foreman's A World on Fire I probably would not have picked Georgiana off the second-hand bookstore shelf. So glad I did. Am looking forward to her next bio-history.

At first glance Georgiana resembles an 18th C version of Lady Diana Spencer, the late Princess of Wales. She was Diana's great-great-great-great aunt and they had a host of traits in common. Each married a man who did not love her and brought an unseen "third party" to the altar. Both were fashion icons, subjects of gossip columns in which they were alternately loved and lampooned, great givers to charity, and brilliant at the art of image making and public relations. On the dark side, they were emotionally crippled by self-doubt which manifested as an eating disorder (Diana) and addiction to risk (both of them).

Georgiana's life, however, makes a far more interesting study than Diana's. Our familiarity with Victorian notions of women's "seen but not heard" social roles, as well as historical models that concentrate on the lives of the middle and working classes, has all but obscured the unique social and political power held by 18th century aristocratic women, not to mention the surprisingly hedonistic lives they were able to live. With Georgiana, Foreman makes a case for historians to re-examine the "separate spheres" model of feminist history, which renders the lives of aristocratic women irrelevant, thereby diminishing our understanding of historical gender roles and relations.

But don't let me lead you into thinking Georgiana is a boring, academic thesis. Far from it. Foreman creates a good balance between engaging storytelling and academic rigor, and Georgiana's life is one worth telling.
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