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Extended Audio Sample The Duchess Audiobook, by Amanda Foreman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amanda Foreman Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9781400181612
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Lady Georgiana Spencer was the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and was nearly as famous in her day. In 1774 Georgiana achieved immediate celebrity by marrying William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire, one of England’s richest and most influential aristocrats. She became the queen of fashionable society and founder of the most important political salon of her time. But Georgiana’s public success concealed an unhappy marriage, a gambling addiction, drinking, drug taking, and rampant love affairs with the leading politicians of the day.

With penetrating insight, Amanda Foreman reveals a fascinating woman whose struggle against her own weaknesses, whose great beauty and flamboyance, and whose determination to play a part in the affairs of the world make her a vibrant, astonishingly contemporary figure.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jillian | 2/11/2014

    " I only got part of the way through it before finally giving up. It's a fantastic book if what you're looking f0r is a wordy, dense, dry thesis of The Duchess's life. It's literraly a month by month timeline of what she did, where she went, who she spent time with and how that all fit into society at the time. Did I mention it's very dense and very dry? I honestly thought it would be an intense historical novel, but it's not, and after forcing myself to pull through 100 pages or so, sold it. Sorry Ms. Foreman, it's just not what I was looking for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carina | 2/7/2014

    " This is a great biography of an important woman. The strange menage a trois between Georgiana, the Duke and their friend Bess (Lady Elizabeth foster) is very interesting. The Duchess was very influential in whig politics and was always deeply in debt from a life of gambling. Foreman entwines politics of the day with Georgiana's life effotlessly. It is well researched and very readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Roberts | 2/2/2014

    " At times I felt this focused more on the polictics of the time than Georgiana's life. I know that polictics was a big part of her life, but I was hoping to learn a bit more about her. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deidre P | 2/1/2014

    " Good, I've finished the book. Now I can't wait to see the movie! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leola | 1/22/2014

    " I couldn't get through this book... wasn't really striking me enough to want to continue reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie Maskus | 1/19/2014

    " Read for Get A Life Book Club 6/2006---also saw the movie, the book was better "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debra | 1/17/2014

    " Quite a "modern" woman of her time...interesting history "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 1/13/2014

    " I liked it. They were quite the ladies in those days! I am sure very influential, but certainly had her problems with debt and husband. It was very long and detailed, so was glad to listen to it on iPod. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe | 1/11/2014

    " Insightful, shocking and well told. I liked the documentary style writing, which was interspersed with quotes and articles. Very much more political then i thought, as well as the loves and scandals. I really enjoyed it, I thought it was very honest and well presented. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen Mendeck | 1/10/2014

    " Interesting - picked it up because I loved the movie "The Duchess". It definitely seems like the biographer fell in love with the subject. Always makes me wonder how objective the work is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Frances | 12/28/2013

    " I found the full story very involving. Apparently I like my politics in any century! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crissy | 12/1/2013

    " For a biography, it's a good and interesting read. I haven't seen the movie yet so I figured it wouldn't spoil anything. I chose it after my fascination with the Tudors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Bailey | 10/20/2013

    " I loved this. She totally brought the woman to life for me and I found it fascinating. Beautifully told and completely vital in the telling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rory | 4/27/2013

    " Awfully good, with top-notch scholarship and decent prose, though I think you already have to have a deep interest in Georgian/Regency English social history to really revel in it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luci | 2/25/2013

    " Entertaining but a little slow in spots. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annette | 12/11/2012

    " Fascinating read about the life and times of Georgiana Spencer. Well researched and written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sydney | 10/21/2012

    " It was awhile ago I read this book, but I remember that I found this book to be a very clumsy biography. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Celena | 10/19/2012

    " one of the few time in which i like the movie more than the book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvie | 10/16/2012

    " A fascinating study of a fascinating woman far ahead of her time. Loved how this wanna-be-academic ended up writing about Georgiana. Made me seriously consider writing about Diane de Poitiers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 12/23/2011

    " I read this years before the movie came out. I know, I set the curve. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole Lessard | 9/16/2011

    " Very interesting read about politics in England and the role of high society women in politics at that time. The book read pretty easily up until the last few chapters detailing the end of Georgiana's life, when politics took a back seat. Then I was just waiting for her to die already. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hebe | 6/23/2011

    " One of my favourite books of all time, detailing the life and death of one of the most brillant women who ever lived. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca | 6/22/2011

    " Great biography! Author brings up some really interesting points on historians typically limited view of women's sphere of influence at this time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tayler | 5/30/2011

    " I really like The Duchess, but biographies just take longer to read, you know? But it’s good. I’ll miss Georgiana when it’s over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louise | 4/21/2011

    " LOVED this book .... what a great read and an amazing woman ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lexie | 4/17/2011

    " I really loved this book because it is a biography. I am fascinated by the lives and times of the aristocracy, so it was interesting reading a true story about an amazing lady who lived during those times. Highly recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 3/28/2011

    " Probably too detailed for most people, but I thought it was an interesting look at a very influential women from the 18th century. I would probably recommend that most people just watch the movie instead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lea | 3/20/2011

    " AMAZING. The detail is incredible, and the writing style makes this already intriguing life stand out even more... A great read if you liked the movie "The Duchess" and want to know more about the life of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 3/15/2011

    " I loved this Biography! The Dutchess was a trend setter and a political mastermind. She went through alot of love and tragedy. This book mad me laugh and cry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/23/2011

    " This is a historical account. Reads factually, not like a drama or fiction (which I prefer.) Interesting woman. "

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About the Author
Author Amanda ForemanAmanda Foreman is a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. She won the Whitbread Prize for Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, which was adapted for the screen as The Duchess. Educated as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College and with a master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Oxford University, she is now married with five children and lives in New York.
About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.