“Party Girl”

O'Connor, Patricia T.

New York Times Book Review, January 23, 2000

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In this review of Amanda Foreman’s Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire–a late eighteenth century royal whose marital menage a trois, various illegitimate children, gambling, expertise in chemistry, minerology, music, and poetry, guaranteed an active life–O’Connor writes of how much Georgianna enjoyed being a social pace-setter. She “enjoyed poking fun at herself and at the social set that slavishly imitated her. Some of her escapades were hair-raising . . . In an era already known for big hair, she created a sensation by wearing hers in an elaborate three-foot tower, padded out with wads of horsehair and embellished with, say, a ship in full sail or a still life with waxed fruit and stuffed birds. Fashionable ladies followed suit, teetering beneath stacks of hair so tall that they had to ride seated on the floors of their carriages.”