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The Favourite

Ophelia Field

2 Reviews

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United Kingdom, Great Britain, Biography: historical, political & military, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900

A new and updated edition of Ophelia Field's acclaimed biography of Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744).

Sarah Churchill, 1st Duchess of Marlborough, was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death. Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham.

Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of life at Blenheim Palace and at court with herself often centre-stage. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, she was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life. This biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life, and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.

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Praise for The Favourite

  • A lively and provocative biography of a fascinating woman, which is crafted with style and vivacity ... It will appeal to both scholars and the general reading public alike

  • A masterly biography which brilliantly captures the power and passion of its subject. This is an exemplary study of an extraordinary woman

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Ophelia Field

Ophelia Field was born in Australia and educated at Christ Church, Oxford and the London School of Economics. She has worked as a policy analyst for a number of refugee and human rights organisations and currently lives in London and New York.