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Humera 09-24-2004 10:17 PM

Aristocrats - books on, or by
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I was wondering if anyone here has read the book "Aristocrats" by Stella Tillyard. The book is based on the correspondence between Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-grand-daughters of Charles II of Great Britain and his mistress Louise de Keroualle, and daughters of the 2nd Duke of Richmond.The four sisters wrote literally thousands of letters to each other and Stella Tillyard's book mainly draws from this rich correspondence. The book was also made into a sumptuous mini-series a couple of years ago.
There's also an illustrated companion book to the mini-series. I bought it a couple of days ago and its truly amazing.
I'd recommend it to anyone who loves history like myself. Both the book and the illustrated companion are full of details about daily life, fashion, and social customs of the eighteenth century.

Julian 09-25-2004 11:04 PM

Hi Humera, did you have a chance to see the television series that was based on this book? It was a British made series (big surprise!;) and came out about four or five years ago and was excellent. The saddest part of the series was the story of the doomed son of the Duchess of Leinster, he took part in the Irish rebellions and was ultimately sentenced to death. The Duchess could not save him even though she pleaded desperately for his life.

hillary_nugent 09-25-2004 11:52 PM

Sounds interesting....what is the TV series called?

Julian 09-26-2004 01:46 AM

hillary, the tv series is the same name, "Aristocrats". I can't remember who was in the cast, other than the actress who played the Duchess of Leinster in her later years, and that was Sian Phillips who used to be married to the great Peter O'Toole. I haven't searched for the details but you can probably find them if you browse on the entertainment info website

hillary_nugent 09-26-2004 03:47 AM

thanks Julian ^____^

Humera 09-26-2004 07:23 PM

yeah I saw the TV series a couple of years ago. Im dying to get it on DVD.
It was absolutely sumptuous with all the magnificent gowns and jewels!
And the reason I especially loved it was because its all based on history, on people who actually lived during the 18th and 19th centuries, people who became famous figures of history, like the Duchess of Lienster's son Edward Fitzgerald, and her nephew Charles James Fox.
If anyone gets their hands on the Illustrated companion to the series, I'd highly recommend it. Its not full of recycled material from the book, nor is a typical "making of" guide. Its actually got tons more information about the lives of the Lennox sisters, daily life in the 18th century and gorgeous pictures of the sisters' homes etc.

semisquare 09-26-2004 09:58 PM


i agree completely, i loved both the book and the tv series. its was wonderfuly done and the costumes were breathtaken. as with history- no extra drama is needed as the tv series shown.

Humera 09-27-2004 08:07 PM

Its a shame that so many of the sisters' letters were destroyed, either by their descendants or as in the case of Louisa, at her death in accordance with her will.

rchainho 08-21-2005 10:27 AM

Russian Aristocrats,00.html

Biography: The Princess and The Politicians by John Charmley
by John Charmley

Viking 20 pp350

NI_MPU('middle');Princess Lieven has had more than her fair share of books written about her. And not surprisingly. This exotic Russian aristocrat intrigued and slept her way through an extraordinary array of statesmen, including Metternich, Wellington, Aberdeen, Canning, Grey and Guizot, and was the first non-royal woman in history to attain a central position in European politics and diplomacy.

tiaraprin 08-21-2005 04:56 PM

Thank you for telling us about the book Rchaino!! It is much appreciated!!

Skydragon 10-26-2006 09:26 AM

Last Curtsey: The end of the debutantes, by Fiona MacCarthy
How shy Di killed off the debs

'We had to put a stop to it. Every tart in London was getting in." In these words, the late Princess Margaret, with her customary blend of regal hauteur and sod-you directness, described one of the reasons behind the decision, in 1958, to bring an end to the centuries-old tradition of the presentation of debutantes to the Queen.

Alastair_r 12-14-2007 10:46 AM

High society
Any good books out about high society, aristocrats and nobility ? X

GlitteringTiaras 12-20-2007 04:42 PM

A book that is simply fantastic, by a historian with whom I greatly admire, David Cannadine, is The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy. You might also want to read Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire; however, the book is more about "how class was the engine for Empire..." compared to The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy.

The above mentioned books may be a good jump start, but if you are looking for something more specific, i.e. the aristocracy today, you might want to buy the video of the four part documentary entitled, The Aristocracy. Released by the BBC a couple of years ago the series is invaluable soruce for those who are seriously intereseted in the history British aristocracy as well as their place in today's society (which questions their relevance; as the late 11th Duke of Devonshire noted "...they are a spent force...")

Good luck in your search:smile:

Warren 12-22-2007 06:51 AM

Another recommendation:
Aristocrats by Robert Lacey (based on his BBC TV series of the same name)
First published 1983. ISBN 0 09 154290 1

The book covers six families:
Duke of Westminster (the Grosvenors)
Duchess of Medinaceli (the most titled woman in the world)
Thurn und Taxis (the late Prince Johannes)
Frescobaldi (long-term friends of the Prince of Wales)
Marquis de Ganay
Liechtenstein (the late Prince Franz Josef II)

marmi 06-24-2008 10:26 PM

What is this book like? I caught a glance of my aunt reading it while she was visiting us but never had a chance to ask her.

scooter 06-25-2008 02:35 PM

Was Diana even born then? How could she kill off something before she was even alive?

PrinceOfCanada 06-25-2008 02:51 PM


Originally Posted by scooter (Post 791441)
Was Diana even born then? How could she kill off something before she was even alive?

Diana was -3 years old in 1958.

scooter 06-25-2008 08:43 PM

Dont think so, she was born 1 1/2 years before me and I am born in 1963. I distinctly remember when she was engaged to C and I was a high school senior at the time.

scooter 06-25-2008 08:44 PM

And 'no doubt' it was all Diana's fault whether she was 3 or not even born, vraiment?

sirhon11234 06-25-2008 09:19 PM

Diana was born in 1961 so this article is pretty lame and funny IMO.

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