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Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, 1750-1832 Hardcover – 27 Mar 1994
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So this book was an absolute joy to read. Stella Tillyard delves into the sisters' lives in great depth and you really feel as though you have come to know, come to appreciate and understand their personalities, their hopes and fears, their whims and quirks. All four sisters (there was a fifth, Cecilia, who died a nineteen, and a number of deceased infant siblings) led fascinating lives, often full of scandal and independence - dalliances with royalty, affairs, illegitimate children, second marriages. They were all striking personalities and every page of this book in their company was a pleasure, from Caroline who defied her family to marry the man she loved; Emily, who established herself as the steady matriarch of the family; gentle loving Louisa who held the family together; wilful impetuous Sarah, who captured a king's heart, left her husband for another man, married yet another.
Whilst the Lennox sisters are of course the primary focus of this book, Tillyard doesn't skirt over the affairs of the age or the doings of the sisters' more active male kin. This was the era of George III, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, Charles James Fox and William Pitt in Westminster, a turbulent era teetering on the brink of revolution at home and rebellion in Ireland. All of the sisters were interested in politics and their letters are full of actions and opinions, often discordant and divisive.
I could hardly put this down. It's a truly excellent book and I would advise it to anyone who is interested in Georgian history, women's history, the lives of the aristocracy - hell, anyone who is interested in history, full stop!
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