Sometimes I watch a movie and become so intrigued that, if it's based upon one, I am moved to read the book. This is the case with The Duchess, by Amanda Foreman. Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, is an amazing woman and I was fascinated to learn more about her. Truly, she was the first female "celebrity" to be bombarded with, what you would call today, tabloids. Her limelight was highlighted in the late 1700s to early 1800s, around the time when newspapers were printed and made affordable for the everyday person.
Georgiana was the first-born in a family and was forever the favorite child and daughter. Because of this, she was overly coddled and therefore, became obsessed with pleasing her parents. She ended up marrying who her parents desired for her, throwing her into a loveless marriage. In an attempt to impress her husband (and perhaps encourage him to love her), she throws herself into the upper echelons of society and politics. Everyone comes to love her and what she stands for. Georgiana also becomes a true fashionista with her dresses and hairstyles causing everyone to follow her newest fashion trends.
What might be most interesting about her life, includes the relationship between herself and her best friend, Bess. Bess begins sleeping with the Duke, Georgiana's husband, and the three manage to keep a strange marriage and love triangle. It's truly an odd relationship.
I'm not going to lie, the book is a much drier representation of this woman and her story than the movie. Although, there is a TON more information. I really enjoyed it, but if you're not used to reading biographies or historical works...this might not be for you. I only recommended it to a couple of girls in my book club, who already lean towards historical and more-dry material. But, if you're not gutsy enough to pick up the book, PLEASE rent the movie! It's wonderful. I've linked the preview below!
In fact, watching this makes me want to re-rent this movie and watch it again!