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  • Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan Guide on Smashwords

How does politics really work?: Thoughts of a political operative

The Duchess DVD is available

The Duchess DVD is available

The woman says: “I have been in the midst of action. I have seen parties rise and fall, friends be united and disunited.”

I enjoyed watching the movie “The Duchess”.  It is about the life of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, the great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana. The movie is interesting, gives profound insights into Georgiana’s personal life, and alludes to some of the politics she participated in. Though, the book it is based on, “Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire” by Amanda Foreman, has even more to offer.

The movie mostly ignores the fact that Georgiana was a confidante to the Prince of Wales. As such, Georgiana was responsible for various big shifts in power and big alliances and decisions made by the Prince that affected the government. Georgiana had a particularly big role in the Regency Crisis of 1789.

The movie The Duchess does show how Georgiana thought of and implemented using her fame and fashion sense to draw attention to the Whig cause and the candidates she supported. And, the movie has scenes of Georgiana at parties and meeting with important people. Though, the movie did not go far enough in showing how Georgiana was at the center of politics by being the friend of powerful people, and by being the most celebrated salon hostess of her party, at various times in her life.

Amanda Foreman writes in her book: “When Georgiana wrote in 1782 that behind the accepted version of any political history lies a secret tale of the ‘intrigues and combination of Society’ that are known only to a few, she was highlighting a problem encountered by all political historians who search in vain for missing links. ‘I have been in the midst of action,’ she continued. ‘I have seen parties rise and fall, friends be united and disunited.’ Georgiana’s privileged position had given her both knowledge and power, and she had often contemplated writing a ‘secret history of the times.'”

More info on the Duchess off Devonshire is at a previous onthewilderside.com post: here.

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