Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vandy Prof Morna O'Neill Enlightens and Entertains JASNA Group about Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Historical as well as cinematic depictions of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, were topics covered in a wonderful presentation given at the Middle TN JASNA chapter's February meeting by Vanderbilt professor Morna O'Neill. Professor O'Neill first shared background information about Princess Diana's very famous distant relative, Georgiana, the Fifth Duchess of Devonshire who lived from 1757-1806. In addition to being one of the most beautiful and well-known personalities of her age, Georgiana was involved in politics, threw lavish parties and became an 18th century fashion "icon." The Duchess of Devonshire's flamboyant life was marked with a fear of debt because of her gambling addictions and entravagant lifestyle.
Professor O'Neill also shared fascinating details about how "historical" films are made by using specific examples of details from the film, "The Duchess" in which British actress, Keira Knightley plays the unhappy Georgiana and Ralph Fiennes portrays her ill-suited husband, the Duke of Devonshire.

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