Sarah Churchill by Ophelia Field
Duchess of Marlborough: The Queen's Favourite

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A brilliant new biographer presents an unforgettable portrait of Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), the glamorous and controversial founder of the Spencer-Churchill dynasty that produced both Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Spencer.

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. Her spectacular arguments with the Queen, with the architects and workmen at Blenheim Palace, and with her own family made Sarah famous for her temper. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, Sarah 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.

Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of her day, with herself often at center stage. This biography brings her 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.

About Ophelia Field

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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 organizations and currently lives in London and New York.
Published July 23, 2003 by St. Martin's Press. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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Shortly into Anne's reign, Sarah feuded with the queen: Anne sided with the Tories, while Sarah was a committed Whig.

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