Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Georgiana and Motherhood

Here are some thoughts from author Amanda Foreman about how motherhood gave her deeper insight into the character of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. I am finally getting to read the biography and it is fascinating. Georgiana was in her youth and glittering hey-day a bottomless pit of emotional need. A loving husband with strength of character could have kept her from disaster but she did not have such a husband. She was one of Marie-Antoinette's most steadfast friends and tried to help the doomed Queen. I will write more about it in a book review. The new film sounds promising. More HERE. (Via Versailles and More) Share


Enbrethiliel said...


Elena, a few years ago, while browsing in my university bookstore, I came across a history book (perhaps a novel) about a woman who carried on a passionate affair with a man even while she was best of friends with his wife. I was horrified by the idea--especially since the synopsis implied that the affair was a true love and the friendship was a true friendship. I simply could not see how anyone could be so split down the middle like that, as if there were literally two people in one body.

Anyway . . . could that woman have been Bess? If so, then Amanda Foreman makes her seem very different--like a schemer who didn't much care for Georgiana and was just using her to get to her husband.

Or maybe I should start reading entire books instead of just the synopses! =P

elena maria vidal said...

Sounds like Bess Foster to me. What an operator. In the biography I get the impression that Bess' friendship was based initially on her fascination with Georgiana's celebrity status. However, when Georgiana was disgraced and exiled, Bess did accompany her into exile. It was the only decent thing to do after all that Georgiana had done for her.

Catherine Delors said...

Elena - Thanks for restoring the comments!
I too find this bio of Georgiana fascinating, though I am not sure about the (very short, so far) part on Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI. Time permitting, I will post my first impressions today.

elena maria vidal said...

Hi, Catherine! Yes, I find it interesting to have an English view of Louis XVI's court and the situation in France. Georgiana and Marie-Antoinette had a great deal in common. I do think, however, that Louis XVI cannot in any way be compared to the Duke of Devonshire. Louis was shy and reserved but he was basically a very loving man. And he had a sense of humor, especially in regard to his queen. He loved Antoinette, whereas the Duke seemed to despise Georgiana and was so cold and awful towards her. The duke was also chronically unfaithful to his wife; Louis XVI was not.

Georgiana was very close to Madame de Polignac, the Queen's friend. I think that the information offered about the "Little Po" is equally interesting.