By Amanda Foreman
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812979695, 512pp.)
Publication Date: August 19, 2008
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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
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.
Amanda Foreman is a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. She won the Whitbread Prize for Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. She is married with five children, and lives in both New York and London.
“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.”
“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