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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide for NookGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan guide on KoboGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide on Smashwords

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (born Lady Georgiana Spencer) is the great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana and a relative of the new royal baby, The Prince of Cambridge. Kimberly Wilder has been  an avid fan of Georgiana and of the media surrounding her life. First, Kimberly set up the blog “Georgiana Circle: Women Healing History”. Now, Kimberly has created a new eBook. Both projects celebrate the life of this remarkable, 18th century woman. And, both projects invite reflection on history, fashion, and feminism.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: The Ultimate Fan Guide celebrates Georgiana’s life as loving mother, entertaining friend, de facto politician, and Empress of Fashion. It includes reviews and an “Absolute Plot Spoiler” for: the 2001 biography by Amanda Foreman; the 2008 movie, “The Duchess”; the 2009 DVD; and the real life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The Ultimate Fan Guide also lists some of Georgiana’s relatives among English Royalty and places her in time related to the world of women’s literature.

If you are a Jane Austen fan or are preparing to view the film “Austenland”, a study of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire will give insights into the feathered hats, social scene, and other Regency Era details. Georgiana, an aristocrat who threw wild parties, and had a child out of wedlock, just may be the woman Jane Austen was afraid of.

The beginning of the first chapter in the eBook:

Introduction: Why I love Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire

She lived a wild life. She broke her vows. She broke the rules. She spent too much money. To the outside world, she seemed all about glamour and selfishness. Yet, she had a profound influence on the world around her. And, in the end, she left a legacy of love and connection among all the children of her household…,

To read the rest, buy the Ebook for only 99¢ on Amazon Kindle

The table of contents:

(more…)

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Update: December 2011: Mixed news on the disposition of the “new” Charlotte Bronte manuscript. At auction, it was won by a museum, so it will still be available to the public. Though, instead of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in England, it went to a literary museum in France. Story at “The National”: here.

KW writes: For all of us Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte fans, this tiny book is a rare find! Written when Bronte was only 14 years old, it is a brilliant piece of satire. Bronte created this tiny work in the format of a men’s magazine. It includes a witty ad (see below), which observes economics and social justice in her usually insightful, though aloof, manner. It’s a kind of Mad Magazine for the 19th century. And, it contains a hint into her future sociological writing, such as her reflections on charity schools in Jane Eyre, and her novel, Shirley.

Bronte manuscript. Image from: i.dailymail.co.uk

(excerpt from) The Telegraph & Argus
[Brontë] Parsonage Museum in Haworth [England] is eager to ensure ‘national treasure’ is not lost to the public
UK/November 14, 2011

An appeal has been launched to help fund the purchase of a rare Charlotte Brontë manuscript.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is appealing for financial support from the public and funding bodies.

It needs to raise up to £300,000 to cover the expected cost of buying the work at an auction next month.

The unpublished manuscript contains three works written by Charlotte – author of Jane Eyre – when she was 14.

Charlotte’s Young Men’s Magazine Number 2 contains 4,000 words set in a fictional world created by the famous literary siblings.

The book, until now in private ownership, is believed to have never before been seen by scholars. (more…)

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Georgiana's Feathers

Princess Beatrice’s Famous Royal Wedding Hat
(see video at bottom of this post)

If you are a fan of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — born 1757, died 1806, glorified in the movie “The Duchess” — then you probably know that Sarah Ferguson and her daughters are descendents of Georgiana. Their family tree extends from Eliza, the love child of Georgiana and Sir Charles Grey.

Georgiana was known for known for her trend-setting fashions, and also, for her ability to use fashion to send a message and garnish attention. So, it is not surprising that Princess Beatrice’s daring wedding hat has inspired a FaceBook page which is at 115,000 hits (As of Sunday evening, 5/1/2011) and climbing. Georgiana’s hat choices were often shocking or problematic. So, it is not out of the family tradition for Princess Beatrice’s hat’s most popular page to be a critique. In fact, it is called, “Princess-Beatrices-Ridiculous-Royal-Wedding-Hat FaceBook Page”.

If you would like to defend Princess Beatrice, and the artistic leap of faith she took, you might consider joining, “Royal Wedding Hats – In Defense of Princess Beatrice and Her Lovely Hat FaceBook Page”. Which, I am sorry to say, stands at only 407 members. (more…)

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KW writes: The wedding is over. The vows are made. The world is reviewing the hoopla and eye-candy. I, personally, have many concerns with the purpose of royalty. I was waiting to dive in with analysis and critique while two real-live people were contemplating such an important step. But, now that Kate and Will have taken their leap of faith, maybe it is time to reflect on what monarchy (and empire) mean?

One of my friends has dived in on FaceBook. She noted (quite emphactically) that a lot of England’s wealth and tradition are related to colonizing and exploiting other parts of the world. And, having lots of wars. Seeing all the military uniforms as part of a religious ceremony was one of the things that didn’t sit well with me. Also, the fact that so many people are distracted by the hoopla, when they have their own lives, responsibilities, and countries to take care of.

Hope you might make your own comments — good and bad — in the comments. And, here is a poem I had written reflecting on Princess Diana’s wedding. It was written after she died…

The Bluish Light, 1997 (more…)

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Jane Austen Tea: Kimberly and Barbara

Kimberly Wilder and Barbara Hellering

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to attend a Jane Austen tea in nearby Port Jefferson. It was a lot of fun. And, I met another local Jane Austen fan who does media and blogging projects. Her name is Erin Coughlin, and her article is excerpted and linked below. I was late to the event. Though, I was in time for the slideshow and tea. I enjoyed hearing Barbara Hellering, give her list of favorite “Mr. Darcies” and speak about the importance of irony in Jane Eyre. My Flicrk photos are: here.

(excerpt from) The Patch
Library Hosts Literary Tea Party To Celebrate Favorite Author
Barbara Hellering of the Jane Austen Society of North America delights fans at The Port Jefferson Library
Erin Coughlin 4/21/2011

On April 14, the Port Jefferson Library hosted it’s highly successful, Annual Jane Austen Tea Party to celebrate National Library Week.

Vice President Barbara Hellering of The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) was on hand to discuss both the British author’s life and times, as well as her influence on modern society… (more…)

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Emma, Lady Hamilton. By Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Emma, Lady Hamilton, was a contemporary of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana knew and liked Lady Hamilton.

If you like Lady Hamilton, or want to learn more about her, there is currently an exhibit at a book club in New York city. More info about “The Enchantress: Emma, Lady Hamilton”, at the Grolier Club until April 30, 2011, can be found at their link, and at the “read more” below.

I have become fascinated with Lady Hamilton party because of the movie “That Hamilton Woman”, with Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton, and with Leigh’s then husband, Laurence Olivier, as Lord Horatio Nelson. The movie is exquisite.

My favorite part of the movie is the way it explores the relationships between men and women, caught in a sexist society, where divorce is more of a shame than affairs, courtesans, or cruelty. And, I love the line uttered by the character of Lord Nelson, “That’s the way people look at these things. They do not believe in a friendship between a man and a woman.” I think that the tension that occurs — partly by nature, partly by a skeptical, sexist society — when a man and a woman try to be friends or colleagues is a large part of the energy that keeps women from succeeding in business, or fairly taking part in governing.

For an excellent review of the Grolier Club exhibit, see the Scandalous Women article: here. A quick biography of Emma, Lady Hamilton can be found at one of my favorite history blogs, The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: here.

Info on the exhibit: (more…)

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About the video: (more…)

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