Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Reading Assignment

Let's travel to the 18th century for this week's Friday Reading Assignment. Aristocrats by Stella Tillyard is a biography/history of the Lennox sisters, great-granddaughters of Charles II and daughters of the 2nd Duke of Richmond. I watched the BBC miniseries by the same title and immediately rushed out to get the book from the library. This was a couple of years ago, but last week I watched the miniseries again because it is one of my favorites.

The sisters, Caroline, Emily, Louisa, Sarah, and Cecelia grew up in the 18th century and lived what I suppose are typical lives of people at the highest echelon of society. Marriage was their only possible life choice, but within the strict confines of a woman's life at that time, they were able to assert their will. Caroline eloped with the famous politician Henry Fox and was mother to the even more famous politician Charles James Fox. From what I recall of the book, her house became a salon for the era's personalities. Emily married the Irish Lord Kildare--who may or may not have had a foot fetish-- and pretty much gave birth continuously thereafter, but still had time to take a lover. One of her children was the Irish revolutionary Edward Fitzgerald. Louisa, the "good" sister married well and lived an exemplary life. The Prince of Wales, later George III,  fell in love with Sarah but married someone else, and Sarah went on to cause scandal with her unhappy marriage and lovers.

I love the 18th century. I've heard of people who identify with a certain time in the past, to the point of feeling like they lived a past life in that time. If I've ever had a past life, it was probably in the 1700's. I also love the fashions, but the wigs, not so much.

The miniseries is excellent too if you like historic costume dramas.

This book is: engrossing

Time it will take to read: about two weeks


  1. Nope, sorry, but if it doesn't have funny animals,jokes, aliens or gratuitous violence, I feel constrained from even opening the first page.
    I know I'm being narrow minded.
    I know I'm being a bit curmudgeonly.
    I know what I like

  2. That's OK, I don't expect everybody to like the same books I do. I'm sure some of my recommendations will include humor or funny animals, but you will be unlikely to find aliens or gratuitous violence.