The Duchess

The Duchess

By Amanda Foreman

Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812979695, 456pp.

Publication Date: August 19, 2008



Now a major motion picture starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes

Lady Georgiana Spencer was the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and was nearly as famous in her day. In 1774 Georgiana achieved immediate celebrity by marrying William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire, one of England’s richest and most influential aristocrats. She became the queen of fashionable society and founder of the most important political salon of her time. But Georgiana’s public success concealed an unhappy marriage, a gambling addiction, drinking, drug-taking, and rampant love affairs with the leading politicians of the day. With penetrating insight, Amanda Foreman reveals a fascinating woman whose struggle against her own weaknesses, whose great beauty and flamboyance, and whose determination to play a part in the affairs of the world make her a vibrant, astonishingly contemporary figure.

About the Author
Foreman was born in London. She was educated at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and Oxford University, where she received a Ph.D. in history.

Praise For The Duchess

“Georgiana bursts from the pages of Amanda Foreman’s dazzling biography like the force of nature she undoubtedly was–passionate, political, addicted to gambling, and drunk on life. This is a stunning book about an astonishing woman.”
–Simon Schama

“Biography at its best . . . seamlessly merges a life and its times, capturing not just an individual but an age.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“Riveting . . . marvelously diverting.”
–The New Yorker