The Mistresses of Cliveden – Natalie Livingstone

LibraryThing Early Reviewers book.

I’ll admit, I was a little worried about this book based on the preview write up – they’re definitely trying to market this to the Downtown Abbey fan crowd, and have decided to market it accordingly.     I was a afraid it was going to go for a slightly sensationalist bent, but it’s actually a well researched book about this house – built in the 17th century, and five of the women that managed it (the first is a bit of a stretch – Anna Maria Talbot never lived there, but she was definitely an inspiration for the Duke of Buckingham to build it).     Still, these women all have interesting stories, and the history here is an interesting read.

I think my favorite was Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, who was a very good friend of Queen Victoria, and a political activist in her own right.     (She’s a granddaughter of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, and continued in that Whig tradition.)     She’s an interesting person to be so influential in Victoria’s life, and I found that section fascinating.

I do think this is a good book for Downtown Abbey fans, and fortunately, it’s well written and informative.

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