The Duchess

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The Duchess

by Amanda Foreman

Harpercollins (uk) | August 25, 2008 | Trade Paperback

The Duchess is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the most flamboyant and influential women of the eighteenth century. The great-great-great-great aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, she was variously a compulsive gambler, a political savante and operator of the highest order, a drug addict, an adulteress and the darling of the common people.This authoritative, utterly absorbing book presents a mesmerizing picture of a fascinating world of political and sexual intrigues, grand houses, huge parties, glamour and great wealth - always on the edge of being squandered by the excesses and scandals of individuals.THE DUCHESS is the story of an extraordinary woman who rose to fame by staying true to her passions in a world of protocol, gossip and social rules - and paid the price.Georgiana''s extraordinary life has now been made into a major film - starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes - which is due for release on Boxing Day 2009.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.06 × 5.38 × 1.19 in

Published: August 25, 2008

Publisher: Harpercollins (uk)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0007285752

ISBN - 13: 9780007285754

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique story This book gives an excellent look at Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire. Much more in depth than what was in the movie. It gets a bit bogged down in English politics which I, as a Canadian, was lost during, but I still could appreciate the influence Georgina had, especially given the time period. An excellent read for fans of historical biographies.
Date published: 2010-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great biographical work Amanda Foreman does a phenomenal job of capturing the character of the Duchess of Devonshire in this book. At the beginning of this book, I was apprehensive because it was perhaps not as "juicy" as I thought it was going to be. (I had not seen the movie yet). However, as I persevered, I came to realize this book as providing a considerable amount of depth to Georgiana's character. Ms. Foreman uses a lot of references, in the form of quotes from letters she has used in her research. I also liked that there was attention given to providing the reader with knowledge of what it was like to live in this era. The powerlessness of women and their ways of managing this state. Georgiana was a considerable political figure, and Ms. Foreman provided us with a lot of political history as well. This was slightly less interesting to me, however I felt that it completed the Duchess, in terms of presenting her to us in a way that was respectful of all dimensions of her character. She was definitely a survivor, who managed phenomenally in an era where marriages were arranged based on socio-economic status, family support was minimal and emotional illnesses (gambling and drugs) were not socially accepted. I really enjoyed this book, but it is a slower read (at least it was for me) mainly due to the necessity of paying very close attention to the material because of all the political references. P.S. I am adding this postscript because I have just seen the movie, and wish to comment on the comparison. The movie, Duchess, provides a very general overview of the DUchess' life. It appears to make an effort to draw the comparison between Lady Diana Spencer and the Duchess of Devonshire in terms of the tragedy of being married to men who do not love their wives. This point is well made, however the book is far superior in giving the reader a very thorough understanding of ALL aspects of Georgiana's life...not just the dissatisfaction she had in being married to the Duke. The movie is disappointing after reading this very full book. But if you prefer a quick very brief idea of the Duchess, then the movie will definitely give you that. Quick and basic.
Date published: 2009-01-17

– More About This Product –

The Duchess

by Amanda Foreman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.06 × 5.38 × 1.19 in

Published: August 25, 2008

Publisher: Harpercollins (uk)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0007285752

ISBN - 13: 9780007285754

From the Publisher

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, was one of the most flamboyant and influential women of the eighteenth century. The great-great-great-great aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, she was variously a compulsive gambler, a political savante and operator of the highest order, a drug addict, an adulteress and the darling of the common people.This authoritative, utterly absorbing book presents a mesmerizing picture of a fascinating world of political and sexual intrigues, grand houses, huge parties, glamour and great wealth - always on the edge of being squandered by the excesses and scandals of individuals.THE DUCHESS is the story of an extraordinary woman who rose to fame by staying true to her passions in a world of protocol, gossip and social rules - and paid the price.Georgiana''s extraordinary life has now been made into a major film - starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes - which is due for release on Boxing Day 2009.

About the Author

Amanda Foreman is the daughter of Carl Foreman (director of High Noon, The Bridge On the River Kwai, Born Free). She was born in 1968, grew up on film sets and is now a research fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She has written for various publications, including the New York Times.

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