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Review: "The Sylph" by Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire

The Sylph may be downloaded for free from our ebook catalog. It is also available in paperback from our sister site, Librifiles.

Heather Carroll, who wrote the foreword to the paperback and also helped us edit the book text for publication, is having a group read of said novel on her website. Why don’t grab a copy and run on over to her blog to join in the fun?

Below is an excerpt of Heather's foreword.

Georgiana had an unusual upbringing for an aristocrat.  Her parents were in love, and she was raised in a household with strong family values.  At the age of sixteen she enthusiastically entered a marriage with the Duke of Devonshire, expecting their marriage to be just like that of her parents.  The Duke’s outlook on the marriage was entirely different from Georgiana’s.  For him, marriage was merely a necessary means of securing heirs.

The environment Georgiana entered was an entirely foreign one.  She automatically became a member of the elite society of the most powerful people known as the ton or the beau monde.  These were the people who decided who or what was in and what was out.  For a girl not yet eighteen, this must have been an intimidating situation.  Luckily for Georgiana she was blessed with a tenacity and a chameleon-like adaptability which allowed her to survive not only her marriage but also her social situation. She eventually became not only accepted but also celebrated.

But deep down inside Georgiana felt like a naïve girl who knew nothing of the world she now took part in.  It is that inner, scared child that becomes Julia, the heroine of The Sylph. While it is not an autobiography, The Sylph depicts many revealing, real-life situations from Georgiana’s social circle.  Published anonymously when she was twenty-one, the book shocked many due to its revelations.  Today the book is just as eye-opening as it was when it was published.


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