Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, Paperback
4 out of 5 (7 ratings)


Sex, intrigue and adultery in the world of high politics and huge wealth in late eighteenth-century England.

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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages, 32 b/w, 16 col plates (24pp), With index
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: historical, political & military
  • ISBN: 9780006550167



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Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.

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Review by

Extremely interesting biography of a fascinating woman. It Girl, mistress, wife, mother, political activist, compulsive gambler... the speed at which Georgiana lived life makes me feel quite dizzy.

Review by

A biography of a facinating woman, ahead of her time she is a spirited woman who refuses to bow down and be a doormat to convention, though this brings its own problems. I felt myself engaged in her struggle and wanted to know more about her as I read through the book. Definitely a character I wouldn't mind going to dinner with!There is an illustrated edition but it lacks the very interesting preface by the author where she decries the destruction of Georgiana's papers by her family.

Review by

What a fascinating woman, powerful and popular in a society where men held most of the power she more than held her own. The author manages to make her come alive, and she seems very modern to me, indeed she suffers from many of the problems that we see in celebrities today. Indeed, her descendant, Diana Princess of Wales had many of her characteristics

Review by

This is an historical biograghy of a fascinating and powerful woman which takes the reader inside the politics of 18th century Britain. This story is important because the duchess was the first real political fundraiser and and stategist who made an organized campaign for votes using every tool available including her status as Duchess. She was brilliant and ahead of her time. Charles Fox was of course a very colourful and interesting politician and leader of the Whigs. This is an introduction to modern party politics.As for the comments from other reviewers with respect to her morality, they should understand that the British aristocracy have always been highly promiscuous including during the Victorian era. They espouse ideals to the contrary but that is a matter of form and further they truly believed that these principles should apply to the lower classes. How many lovers did Jenny Churchill have? A lot , but perhaps not as many as her profligate husband Randolph Churchill who died of syphlis.

Review by

When I had made my way to the last forty pages of this biography I suddenly had a thought. 'Oh Christ she is going to die soon.' I wasn't really ready to stop spending my time with the Duchess of Devonshire. She had a life so interesting that it seems to be a gift to those who are trying to read her biography. She is fashionable, she gambles, she dances with the prince of wales, she manages the social life of the Whig party, she is a wife, she is a mistress, she is in debt, she is a mother, she does a whole lot. Amanda Foreman tells us all about it with a very light touch. She doesn't ignore, excuse or moralize about the Georgina's life. She describes each facet of the situation and leaves the rest to the reader. She manages to balance on the fine line between telling us too much about the wider historical context and telling us nothing. This book is a delight to read.

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