Dearest Bess - Elizabeth Duchess of Devonshire

Dorothy Margaret Stuart

Date Published :
March 2015
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781550052
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Elizabeth Foster, 'Bess' is one of the larger-than-life characters that occasionally flits across the pages of history. Born in 1757 as Elizabeth Christiana Hervey, the daughter of the eccentric Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, she led a privileged life and married John Thomas Foster in 1777. Following their separation, Foster took her infant sons from her and the distressed Bess led a bitter life, made more tolerable by the kindness and affection shown to her by her best friend, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The friendship developed into a further intimate friendship with Georgiana's husband, the Duke of Devonshire, the subject of the 2008 film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. Soon Bess, Georgiana and the Duke were living in a ménage à trois resulting in two illegitimate children, which Bess bore in exile in France, terrified of discovery and social ostracism. Two years after Georgiana's death in 1806, Bess married 'Canis', the nickname given to the Duke by Bess and Georgiana, and the couple lived together in happiness at Devonshire House and Chatsworth. However, their happiness was short-lived, and Canis died after just 21 months of marriage. Bess spent much of the remainder of her life in Italy. Fluent in French and Italian, and living abroad for many years, Bess maintained a voluminous correspondence, and as a consequence an amazing picture has been built of this amazing woman, the friend of Marie Antoinette, the Prince Regent and many in the highest circles of society in England, France and Italy.

About The Author

Dorothy Margaret Stuart, (1889-1963) was a poet and writer of great ability. Her works include literary and historical biographies, historical non-fiction particularly concentrating on the lives of women and children, and history stories for children. She was a member of the English Association from 1930 onwards, edited its newsletter and contributed essays and book reviews to its journal, English.

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