The hottie of the month for December is Georgiana Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire, the subject of Keira Knightley‘s latest film, which PJ and I saw earlier this month. Here’s the trailer:

Georgiana lived a colorful life. She married the duke just before she turned seventeen. He was one of the richest and most powerful men in the country at the time. Their marriage is probably most interesting due to the fact that Georgiana’s best friend, Lady Elizabeth Foster, was the duke’s mistress for some twenty years before the duchess’s death allowed them to marry. Furthermore, the basic set up of their marriage, an older man who marries a younger woman, was satirized in Richard Brinsley Sheridan‘s School for Scandal. And finally, just as her husband had a mistress, Georgiana had a lover, Charles Grey, by whom she bore a daughter, Eliza Courtney.

Georgiana was also famous for her beauty, which she put to political use campaigning for the Whigs. She was regularly features in the newspapers and satirical prints of the day. In addition to her beauty and politics, she was an infamous gambler. When she died, she was deeply in debt as a result of her gambling losses.

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