Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (7 June 1757 – 30 March 1806), born Georgiana Spencer, was the first wife of William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire. One of the most influencial women of her time, Georgiana was a celebrated beauty and a socialite who gathered around her a large circle of literary and political figures and burnt the bridges in politics as an active campaigner in an age when women’s suffrage was over a century away and women had no rights at all, not even on their own personal lives. Georgiana, a close friend of Marie Antoinette queen of France, is one of Lady D-Diana Spencer Princess of Wales’ anchestors.
Left: Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire in two portraits by Thomas Gainsborough, 1787 and Joshua Reynolds, c. 1780–1781. / Right: The Duchess of Devonshire as played by Keira Knightley in The Duchess, the 2008 film from director Saul Dibb and based on Amanda Foreman’s biography Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.