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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
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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. This is her first book.

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Sex! Politics! Intrigue! This Whitbread Prize-winning biography has all that and more; if it were fiction it would be a best seller. Georgiana (1757-1806) was the most accomplished social hostess of her day and a formidable, if behind the scenes, force in Whig politics. She and the Duke shared their life with Lady Elizabeth Foster in a m‚nage … trois, the intricacies of which can only be guessed at. Together they raised a variety of children resulting from a number of liaisons. In addition to her work as a patron of the arts, Georgiana also wrote fiction, poetry, and a play, some of which was published in her lifetime. Brian Masters's previously published biography of the same title (now out of print) focuses mostly on her social activities. On the contrary, Foreman (a recent Ph.D. and researcher at Oxford) brings Georgiana's political savvy and influence into play against the backdrop of the American Revolution and the hostility between George III and the Prince of Wales. The names and titles tend to get confusing at times, but this well-written, well-researched book is finally a pleasure to read. For all libraries.ÄJulie Still, Rutgers Univ., Camden, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

'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

HShe was the most prominent British woman of her day. Whatever she wore became instantly fashionable, and her parties were the ones to attend. Royals, aristocrats and politicians sought her opinion, for she was as influential as she was beautiful. Princess Diana? No, her great-great-great-great-aunt, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806). A bestseller in the U.K. and the winner of the 1999 Whitbread Prize for Best Biography, Foreman's debut is captivating not just because of Georgiana--whose insecurity, demented love life and gambling addiction made her personal life even more dismal than Diana's--but also because Foreman's portrayal of high society in late-18th-century Britain and France is so remarkably vivid. Foreman gives readers the aristocracy fighting for control over Parliament, King George slowly losing his mind, his love-struck son ill-prepared to take the throne, and more bed-hopping than on a TV soap opera. Georgiana, who bore an out-of-wedlock child with politician Charles Grey, knew that her best friend was her husband's mistress, but that was the least of her problems. Prone to drinking, drug-taking and eating disorders, she also racked up gambling debts equal to $6 million in today's dollars. Foreman's combination of exhaustive research and storytelling skill make Georgiana's story at once lurid, sensational and touching. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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