The Duchess by Amanda ForemanThe Duchess by Amanda Foreman

The Duchess

byAmanda Foreman

Paperback | August 25, 2008

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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.
Amanda Foreman was born in London in 1968. She was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University in New York, before receiving her doctorate in Eighteenth-Century British History from Oxford University. Since 2005 she has a been a Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary College, London. She is married with five children.
Title:The DuchessFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 7.8 × 5.08 × 0.05 inPublished:August 25, 2008Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0007285752

ISBN - 13:9780007285754

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Strong Woman This is the story of Georgina Duchess of Devonshire. She was a liberated woman at a time when women had no rights. A member of the nobility she engaged in life with a determination to be more than just a dutiful wife. She took all the life had to offer and went for it. she was politically savvy and became involved in politics although women at the time could not run for office. Instead she campaigned among all the social classes for her favourite candidate. A remarkable historical study of a strong woman in eighteenth century England.
Date published: 2017-03-06
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

Editorial Reviews

'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'A pungent, intimate blend of biography and history.a provocative contribution to our understanding of women of the past.' Jenny Uglow, Independent'Packed with fascinating information and grippingly good.' Lisa Jardine'Real-life glamour, peppered with a menage a trois and a dose of depression.Curl up and devour it.' Elle'A gorgeous Whig romp.[and] a serious, as well as seriously enjoyable, historical biography.' Antonia Fraser, Sunday Times'Excellent and fascinating.' Sunday Telegraph'From this very entertaining account emerges a vibrant picture of late-eighteenth-century life and politics, and the portrait of a rare and highly talented woman.' Observer'A sparkling biography.' Marie Claire'Brilliantly researched, compellingly told, this is biography of the first order.' Daily Telegraph