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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire Paperback – 1 Mar 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (1 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006550169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006550167
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Georgiana Spencer was, in a sense, an 18th-century "It Girl". She came from one of England's richest and most landed families, and married into another. She was, beautiful, sensitive and extravagant. Acquainted fairly young with Charles James Fox, her move from parties to Parties led her to become the 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 Lady Teazle in Sheridan's School For Scandal. But, luckily for her biographer, she also had weaknesses that were to taint her life. As gin gripped the masses, so gambling enthralled the aristocracy. By 1784 Georgiana owed "many, many, many thousands", and the creditors she acquired dogged her until her death, but the sterility of her marriage meant that she never came close to disclosing the magnitude of her debts. Amanda Foreman describes astutely the mess that was personal relationships for 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 his bed and her heart). She 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

Review

‘Mesmerizing’
Antonia Fraser, Literary Review

‘Well-written, extensively researched and highly readable… Gripping’
Stella Tillyard, Mail on Sunday

‘An outstanding debut by a young biographer fully in control of her sources, and with an easy and elegant writing style’
Roy Strong, Sunday Times

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