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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
HShe was the most prominent British woman of her day. Whatever she wore became instantly fashionable, and her parties were the ones to attend. Royals, aristocrats and politicians sought her opinion, for she was as influential as she was beautiful. Princess Diana? No, her great-great-great-great-aunt, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806). A bestseller in the U.K. and the winner of the 1999 Whitbread Prize for Best Biography, Foreman's debut is captivating not just because of Georgiana--whose insecurity, demented love life and gambling addiction made her personal life even more dismal than Diana's--but also because Foreman's portrayal of high society in late-18th-century Britain and France is so remarkably vivid. Foreman gives readers the aristocracy fighting for control over Parliament, King George slowly losing his mind, his love-struck son ill-prepared to take the throne, and more bed-hopping than on a TV soap opera. Georgiana, who bore an out-of-wedlock child with politician Charles Grey, knew that her best friend was her husband's mistress, but that was the least of her problems. Prone to drinking, drug-taking and eating disorders, she also racked up gambling debts equal to $6 million in today's dollars. Foreman's combination of exhaustive research and storytelling skill make Georgiana's story at once lurid, sensational and touching. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book reads like a history book. It was boring and I didn't even read half of it before giving up on it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Lois Sprague
I thoroughly enjoyed this biography. The aithor, as she statws in her preface, finds Georgiana a passionate and complex heroine, sympathetic to her struggles and predicaments. Read morePublished 4 days ago by BYoung
I watched the movie and liked it so I thought I'd read the book. This is definitely one of those times when the movie is better than the book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Jen
This book was interesting and enjoyable. It is very well researched. It's a pity that they say the movie is based on this book because the film does not capture the depth of the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ale J
This is a very good biography but it is not at all like the movie.Published 3 months ago by Victoria Rose Wilson
So interesting. The view into the daily life in the 1700s through letters & diary entries is so intriguing.Published 4 months ago by Mosedl
Loved it. History is so interesting when you can watch it like this.Published 5 months ago by the flintstone