The Favourite: Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field

The Favourite: Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Royalty section.

London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2002, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Colour plates; Black & white plates;

From the cover: Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death.

Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites.

Her spectacular arguments with the Queen, with the architects and workmen at Blenheim Palace, and with her own family made Sarah infamous for her temper. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, Sarah was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life.

Politically, Sarah was most influential through her husband, one of Englands greatest generals, and their mutual friend, the Treasurer Sidney Godolphin. After their deaths, she remained independently powerful thanks to the immense wealth she controlled and as the founder of several dynasties, including the Spenccr-Churchills.

Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of her day with herself often at centre-stage. This biography brings her own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life, and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her, by a brilliant new biographer.

Very Good+ in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper.

Grey boards with Red titling to the Spine. [XIV] 560 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

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