The Duchess

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9780007285754: The Duchess

A tale of decadence and excess, great houses and wild parties, love and sexual intrigue, this biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, casts an astonishing new light on the nobility of eighteenth-century England.

Fashionable, extravagant and universally adored, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the most influential women of her day. But her flamboyant public persona hid a multitude of personal troubles: drug addiction, vast gambling debts, an unhappy ménage à trois with her husband and best friend, and a doomed affair with the future prime minister. Like her descendant, Diana, Princess of Wales, Georgiana was a vulnerable woman living the life of an icon.

This utterly absorbing biography, recently made into a major film starring Keira Knightley as the Duchess of Devonshire, paints a touching portrait of a misunderstood woman.

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trade 1st edition 1st printing paperback, fine In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

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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, 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 thralled 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

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Film tie-in ed. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A tale of decadence and excess, great houses and wild parties, love and sexual intrigue, this biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, casts an astonishing new light on the nobility of eighteenth-century England. Fashionable, extravagant and universally adored, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the most influential women of her day. But her flamboyant public persona hid a multitude of personal troubles: drug addiction, vast gambling debts, an unhappy menage a trois with her husband and best friend, and a doomed affair with the future prime minister. Like her descendant, Diana, Princess of Wales, Georgiana was a vulnerable woman living the life of an icon. This utterly absorbing biography, recently made into a major film starring Keira Knightley as the Duchess of Devonshire, paints a touching portrait of a misunderstood woman. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007285754

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Film tie-in ed. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A tale of decadence and excess, great houses and wild parties, love and sexual intrigue, this biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, casts an astonishing new light on the nobility of eighteenth-century England. Fashionable, extravagant and universally adored, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the most influential women of her day. But her flamboyant public persona hid a multitude of personal troubles: drug addiction, vast gambling debts, an unhappy menage a trois with her husband and best friend, and a doomed affair with the future prime minister. Like her descendant, Diana, Princess of Wales, Georgiana was a vulnerable woman living the life of an icon. This utterly absorbing biography, recently made into a major film starring Keira Knightley as the Duchess of Devonshire, paints a touching portrait of a misunderstood woman. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007285754

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Duchess (Film tie-in ed), Amanda Foreman, A tale of decadence and excess, great houses and wild parties, love and sexual intrigue, this biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, casts an astonishing new light on the nobility of eighteenth-century England. Fashionable, extravagant and universally adored, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the most influential women of her day. But her flamboyant public persona hid a multitude of personal troubles: drug addiction, vast gambling debts, an unhappy menage a trois with her husband and best friend, and a doomed affair with the future prime minister. Like her descendant, Diana, Princess of Wales, Georgiana was a vulnerable woman living the life of an icon. This utterly absorbing biography, recently made into a major film starring Keira Knightley as the Duchess of Devonshire, paints a touching portrait of a misunderstood woman. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007285754

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; A tale of decadence and excess, great houses and wild parties, love and sexual intrigue, this biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, casts an astonishing new light on the nobility of eighteenth-century England. Fashionable, extravagant and universally adored, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007285754_rkm

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