♡ Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire ♡
Georgiana was an English socialite, style icon, author, and activist. She was born in 1757 to John Spencer (later Earl Spencer) and his wife, Georgiana (née Poyntz, later Countess Spencer). Upon her marriage to William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, she became the Duchess of Devonshire, and through this she garnered much attention and fame in society during her lifetime. With a preeminent position in the peerage of England, the duchess was famous for her charisma, political influence, beauty, unusual marital arrangement, love affairs, socializing, and gambling.
Her keen sense made her the extravagant female leader in fashion and style in England. Using her influence as a leading socialite and fashion/style icon, she contributed to politics, science, and literature. As part of her illustrious social engagements, she would gather around her a large salon of literary and political figures. Among her major acquaintances were the most influential figures of her time including: the Prince of Wales, future King George IV, Marie Antoinette, the Duchess of Polignac, Charles Grey, future British Prime Minister, and Lady Melbourne, who was the lover of the Price of Wales.
Georgiana, sadly, did not have a happy marriage. Her husband, William Cavendish, was very mean to her; he had numerous affairs, even having a live-in mistress at one point, which was unheard of at the time, and she suffered mental, emotional, and probably physical abuse from him. Her husband’s live in mistress was actually Lady Elizabeth Foster, who was Georgiana’s close friend. Georgiana sought further personal consolation from a "dissipated existence"in passions such as: socializing, fashion, politics, writing, and addictions like gambling, drinking, and drugs. She also had affairs with a number of men. Her big affair was with with Charles Grey (later Earl Grey), in which she became pregnant by him in 1791. She was forced to give up her baby to his family, but she always made sure to visit her illegitimate daughter as often as possible providing her with presents and affection.
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