By Sophia Yakumithis
After reading Amanda Foreman’s “Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire,” for my British history course, I have been wondering what my life would be like if I were an 18th century British duchess.
“Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire” chronicles the life of Georgiana Cavendish, a charismatic socialite who used her underrated intelligence and her husband’s, the Duke of Devonshire, social prominence as political mechanisms to mobilize the British Whig Party in the 18th century. She was also associated with being a trendsetter in fashion, along with a debaucherous persona in the gambling sphere.
Let’s reveal some information about me: I am, as Green Day would put it, “neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it.” While I don’t have a gambling addiction or menage a trois (she did that), I certainly have my own vices that are probably bad for my health. Georgiana was notorious for living with neuroses and unhealthy baggage, but to a debilitating degree. But, like I said, yucky stuff aside, Georgiana was wicked smart.
Second, I am not rich. I buy a lot of coffee, but that’s because it’s my nutrition. So, when I make these comparisons, keep in mind that I’m not galavanting around Commonwealth Avenue in a Givenchy python leather coat or anything.
Third, my husband is not a duke. My boyfriend, however, is easily triggered by Republicans on Twitter and he will be broke by the time he is 30 years old because he wants to go to graduate school.
If I did, in fact, live the life of an 18th century duchess and had a rich husband, I think I would be well received because I could afford to look and live lavishly. I’m also smart, but not too smart, which my research has determined was ideal for a society woman of that time.
Duchess-me would be married by now and, ideally, pregnant with a son. Aforementioned my bankrupt, internet troll boyfriend and my father would settle a dowry, and we would then move to a beautiful estate — StuVi2, perhaps — where I tend to the home and occupy my time doing, you know, stimulating things, like reorganizing China sets and making decisions on which linens to have the servant put out.
Personally, if I became a duchess, I would not pull a Georgiana and pursue political association. I would exploit my monetary resources, focusing on the style aspect of the trade. I see myself as more of a Met Gala patron than a Tammany Hall one, and there is nothing wrong with that.
I think the hardest part of being a duchess would be how grossly over-aware I would have to be of my every move. I don’t like conforming to act a certain way, and wearing ostrich feathers in my hair and then receiving press coverage for it sounds awful to me. At the end of the day, I just want to reclude in my apartment in a tee shirt, joggers, with a bucket of fried chicken — that’s all.
So maybe the duchess life is for me. But maybe it’s not. Who knows or cares; it’s not something I’ll ever have to deal with now that Prince Harry is pawned off to a Northwestern University grad.