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The Duchess Countess

Catherine Ostler

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01 April 2021
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'Outrageously scandalous, soaked in sex and money, aristocracy, adventure and grandeur... Catherine Ostler, accomplished storyteller, is the perfect writer to restore the Duchess Countess to life' Simon Sebag Montefiore When the glamorous Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston and Countess of Bristol, went on trial in Westminster for bigamy in April 1776, the story drew more attention in society than the American War of Independence. Now, in Catherine Ostler's brilliantly told and evocative biography, we get to see the full story of how Elizabeth came to be there and how she responded to what should have been the most humiliating episode of her life. Born in relatively modest circumstances, Elizabeth's father died when she was only five, leaving her vulnerable and eventually ensuring that marriage was the best way for her to secure her future.

What followed included a clandestine, candlelit wedding to a young earl who immediately set sail on his travels, and an appearance at a masquerade ball in a transparent dress that caught the eye of the Duke of Kingston. Soon they too were married, but when he died and left his inheritance to her, his children from a previous marriage decided to look into her past and contest the will. Rather than backing from the limelight, Elizabeth went on a Grand Tour of Europe, being welcomed by the Pope, Frederick the Great and Catherine the Great among others. In a world where a woman's place was severely circumscribed, Elizabeth had found a way to plough her own path as a spirited adventuress, and very much a pioneer for modern celebrity culture.
By:   Catherine Ostler
Imprint:   SIMON451
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   ANZ Only
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
ISBN:   9781471196058
ISBN 10:   1471196054
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   01 April 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Catherine Ostler is a Contributing Editor at the Daily Mail, having been Editor-in-Chief at the Tatler and ES magazine, as well as Editor of The Times Weekend. She has also written for a wide range of other publications, including the Financial Times, Vogue and Newsweek. She read English at Oxford University, specialising in eighteenth-century literature.

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