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The Spencers: A Personal History of an…

The Spencers: A Personal History of an English Family (1999)

by Charles Spencer Spencer, Earl

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832222,231 (2.75)None
The history of the Spencer family -- intimately linked with the British monarchy for more than 500 years -- is in many ways the history of England.In this fascinating account, Charles Spencer traces the story of his family from its days as a medieval sheep-farming dynasty to the present. Remarkable characters abound, from Henry Spencer, who gave Charles I the astonishing sum of pounds l0,000 on the eve of the English Civil War; through the Lady Diana Spencer who lived in the 18th century and did not marry the Prince of Wales; to the scandalous society beauty Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; and finally to the modern Diana, Princess of Wales.Using archives and documents previously unavailable and incorporating his own knowledge and experiences of the family, Charles Spencer has written an entertaining yet moving narrative that puts into vivid context the life of the most loved princess of 20th-century Britain.… (more)
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    The Autobiography of Margot Asquith by Margot Asquith (Limelite)
    Limelite: Another first person account of a scion of a noble family whose life was far more checkered than any recent Spencer. This book also politically relevant as Margot was married to a British PM who also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position held by more than one Spencer throughout history.… (more)

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Enjoyed reading about the many characters in this ancient noble family; so many of them, both male and female, involved themselves in the politics of their time; many held high public office, almost all acquitting themselves well; only a few rakes and wastrels, and one or two solidly eccentric characters as well as a fair share of meddling elders.

Charles Spencer's style is inviting and accessible. The book is a painless way to get an intimate view of moments in history that are family-centric. My only criticism is that he backed away from examining his father and his family (Diana), deferring to discretion when it came to looking at the contentious divorce of his parents. ( )
  Limelite | Nov 13, 2014 |
There should have been a lot more genealogy included in the book. I can't imagine any one outside the Spencer family getting much value out of this book. ( )
  JohnJohnsonII | May 19, 2013 |
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