Elizabeth: The Scandalous Life of an 18th Century Duchess

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Random House, Jan 18, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
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Elizabeth Chudleigh was one of the eighteenth century's most colourful characters. Born into impoverished gentility, her beauty, wit and vitality soon earned her a place at the centre of court life. When she married the Duke of Kingston in 1769 she had reached the highest rung of the social ladder. But Elizabeth was carrying a dark secret. In 1744 she had secretly married a naval lieutenant called Augustus Hervey, and after the Duke's death her first marriage was discovered. Bigamy fever swept London society and, in a very public trial, Elizabeth was found guilty. But her strength of character ensured that, even when her friends deserted her, her courage and zest for life did not. In an engaging history of this strong and wilful woman, Gervat shows there was far more to Elizabeth than the caricature villain her contemporaries made her out to be.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Beginning of Sorrow
105
IO The Warmth of Rome
113
The Last Days of Rome
125
I2 Approaching Doom
136
I3 Trial By Her Peers
144
A Trip to Calais
155
A Terrible Journey
180
Trouble in the Eternal City
190
The Queen of Poland
203
Mansions and Mountebanks
216
2O Decline and Fall
227
Notes
247
Select Bibliography
285
Index
299

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About the author (2011)

After reading history at Oxford University, Claire Gervat worked briefly in the City then moved into journalism. As a freelance travel writer, Claire has contributed to many national newspapers and magazines, including the Independent, Guardian and the Sunday Times. She also writes 'The Trader', a humorous weekly column about the life of a fictional city girl in the Independent.

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