4 Jul 2010

The Duchess by Amanda Foreman

The Duchess

'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. Georgiana's extraordinary life has now been made into a major film - starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes - which is due for release in summer 2008.'

 Now this book was completely out of my comfort zone.  Normally, I would hover towards the chicklit, romance and books that are easy to read but this one I had given to me as a Christmas present and, to be honest, I did struggle to read it for many reasons:
  1. It was 405 pages long.
  2. The text was very small.
  3. It had lots of description (ahhhh!)
  4. It was filled with lots of stars next to words that linked to the bottom of the page giving more detail.
One of the things that I am not very fond of in books in when there is too much description of places and people that the characters in the story have met, seen or talked to but that is just a personal preference.  
In this story we follow the Duchess of Devonshire from her gambling to political ambitions along with her being a drug addict, mother and also an adulteress all rolled into one.  This was one hell of a woman...  Certainly would have been a scary character to meet in modern times, well for me anyway!

I do recommend this story for those who do like to read historical novels as this was a good one.

I am sorry to say that I have to give this one a 5 out of 10.