31 March 2014

Book Review: The Duchess

The Duchess by Amanda Foreman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is fantastically researched and very well written, but it does have some major flaws.

Most obvious is the title. For majority of the book, the focus is on the politics of the time. The Duchess, Georgiana, is included in much of this as she was a prominent feature, but it is not really about her. A great liberty has been taken on the publisher/editor/author's part to draw you in with the idea of a person of intrigue and her story, but much of this is lost after the first few chapters as the author takes us on a different course. I learnt much, but it is not necessarily what I wanted to learn. The author has an obvious fascination with politics of the time, and less fascination with Georgiana the persona.

Secondly, there was no story. The story tries very hard to push through, but it is always beaten back with more historical and political narrative.

Obviously I still enjoyed this book, hence the 4 stars. If I was judging it on the above points alone it would be 3 stars, but when I consider the depth of research and quality of the writing itself, credit must be given. It was just difficult at times to stick with it.


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