A Spencer Love Affair

Eighteenth Century Theatricals at Blenheim Palace and Beyond

Allan Ledger

Date Published :
July 2014
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
31 color and black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781553527
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


A Spencer Love Affair is the true story of the love affair and marriage between the 4th Duke of Marlborough's favorite daughter Lady Charlotte Spencer and an Oxford Vicar, the Reverend Edward Nares. After their marriage in 1795 Lady Charlotte was banished from Blenheim Palace by her parents, never to return home. The affair stemmed from their acting together in the private theatricals performed at Blenheim's newly created private theater during 1785-1789, the year of the French Revolution. The fashion for creating private theaters originated in France with Voltaire. In England it became fashionable amongst the aristocracy, gentry and clergy in the second half of the eighteen century. This included the Austen family at Steventon Vicarage where Jane Austen's family created their own private theater, not in a palace but a barn. Later in life, Jane Austen was to include her childhood memories of these theatricals in her novel Mansfield Park. It was as Austen described, that these private theatricals led to dangerous intimacies amongst the actors, and this certainly seems to have been the case in the love affair between Revd. Edward Nares and Lady Charlotte Spencer.

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