Monday, February 2, 2009

He's Not Such A Bad Guy!

Ya know, poor Canis gets a bad rep. And while I'm not saying he wasn't a big jerk, I can say he wasn't constantly one. Many of Georgiana's letters make the Duke of Devonshire out to be a normal guy. Although you do sense a bit of an awkwardness in his letters he doesn't come off as the Ice King all the time. In a letter to Georgiana in 1775 he scolds her for not writing to him enough, "What a naughty little wretch you are..." While this shows his need for doting female attention, as Foreman talks about in the biography, it also is kind of cute at the same time!

I really like this letter Georgiana wrote to her mother in 1784 because it shows the Duke's sense of humour:
"The Duke made us laugh very much by teazing Cl Crawfurd, who is very lazy, in trying to make him run up the hill. Cl Crawfurd is, you know, very gallant and had been saying all matter of fine things to Ly Eliz [Bess], so the Duke threw her whip down the steepest part of the hill that he might fetch it, but his gallantry did not reach so far for he would not go..."
I hope Bess had to pick up her whip herself.


  1. I knew it! :D
    You know, after seeing the trailer to The Duchess, I was thinking that the Duke was really horrible - "You will NEVER see your children again", things like that -, I didn't like him at all. Although I felt that this might have been a bit exaggerated in the movie. But then, after reading Foreman's book I found out that he wasn't... that cruel. Maybe a bit awkward and cold, but absolutely not a fiend or something.

  2. Wow, your blog is simply awesome. Thanks so much for your visit. I am so looking forward to visiting again with you.

  3. Yes, I remember reading that anecdote and laughing out loud! I can't help but like him a little bit. I think he was kind of hot, too! (I might be alone on that one) But it's true, at the end of the day he was still a big jerk.

  4. Thanks Miss Janice, hope to see you around more!

    I think if the Duke was around today, he wouldn't be as much of jerk because most of what defies him as such is what was instilled on him from birth. So it is very much a nurture issue. From what we can gather from his personality, he was not a bad guy. In fact, I remember commenting during The Duchess how he would be a good guy for me to date, since he was more on the logical side than emotional! So Eliza you're not alone!

    Ninon, its good that you can see the exaggerations in the movie, I try to do that with all biofilms. I felt that there were a lot of those, especially in regard to Georgiana and Bess.

  5. I feel sorry for the Duke, and G, for that matter. It seems as though they were both controlled by their families. I think the Duke was a hurt little boy who needed love he never recieved from his parents. After reading Amanda's book, I felt sorry for him. I also don't think that G was the helpless victim, as the movie protrayed. I do agree that his behavior fueled her fires, but she also had choices to make in her behavior. Anywhoo, enough of my Duke analysis :-)