One of the great beauties of Georgian society, Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey, was a woman of enormous style and spirit whose life revolved around her pleasures. Clever and witty, her charm was legendary, earning her the nickname in the contemporary press as 'The Enchantress'. She glittered in an aristocratic century. However, she was also unprincipled and malevolent. After providing her husband an heir, she duly abandoned the dull respectability of married life for the whirl of the faster set of society and a number of high-profile and scandalous affairs. Through her treatment of the Prince Regent, she enraged the country and threatened the monarchy, blackening the prince's reputation for posterity.
Through the letters of those who knew her, the Countess's decadent life is given fresh light and offers a new perspective on this fallen woman. Despite being demonised by historians, and subjected to rumour and myth, this is the first biography ever written of her extraordinary and dramatic life. Tim Clarke skilfully pieces together the truth about the very colourful life of the Countess of Jersey, and through extensive research he dispels many of the myths that, even in the highest academic circles, continue to surround her to this day, leaving us with a very intimate portrait of a life lived in defiance of social convention.
15 Jul 2016