The Duchess Countess

25 September 2021

The Duchess Countess

Join Catherine Ostler as she examines the astounding and scandalous story of Elizabeth Chudleigh and revaluates her life, her behaviour and her legacy.
Concession rates are available.
'The Duchess Countess' book cover

Box office

You can also book by calling 0131 226 0014. The box office is open Monday to Friday between 10.00am and 6.00pm.

Book three or more events and save 25%

  • Tickets must be purchased in the same transaction.
  • The offer does not apply to free events, walking tours, or to any events which include merchandise in the ticket price.
  • Check our Festival FAQs for more information.

Description

When the glamorous Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston, Countess of Bristol, went on trial at Westminster Hall for bigamy in April 1776, the story drew more attention in society than the American War of Independence. However, Elizabeth refused to submit to public humiliation and retire quietly. Rather than backing gracefully out of the limelight, she embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe, being welcomed by the likes of the Pope and Catherine the Great.

Elizabeth led her life in the inner circle of the Hanoverian court and her exploits delighted and scandalised the press and the people. She made headlines and was a constant feature in penny prints and gossip columns. But her behaviour, often depicted as attention-seeking and manipulative, hid a more complex tale – that of Elizabeth’s fight to overcome personal tragedy and loss.

Catherine Ostler takes a fresh look at Elizabeth’s story and seeks to understand and reappraise a woman who refused to be defined by society’s expectations.

She will be in conversation with fellow historian Natalie Livingstone, author of The Mistresses of Cliveden and the forthcoming book The Women of Rothschild.

Supported by:

Royal Hospital ward logo          The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea logo
 

About the speaker

Catherine Ostler is an author and journalist who has been Editor-in-Chief of Tatler, ES, the Evening Standard magazine, and Editor of The Times Weekend. She has also written for a wide range of publications, including the Financial Times, Vogue, the Daily Mail and Newsweek. She read English at Oxford University, specialising in 18th-century literature.
 

Buy the books

'The Duchess Countess' book cover    'The Mistresses of Cliveden' book cover

Date and time

Festival access

Get further details on accessing festival venues and joining online events.

Venue

More events you might like

Dressed for War

Dressed for War

17 September 2021

5.00pm - 6.00pm

£6.00

Nursing in Crisis

Nursing in Crisis

17 September 2021

7.00pm - 8.00pm

£6.00

Spymaster: The Man Who Saved MI6

Spymaster: The Man Who Saved MI6

18 September 2021

5.00pm - 6.00pm

£6.00

The Constitution of 3 May 1791 and Its Defence

The Constitution of 3 May 1791 and Its Defence

19 September 2021

1.30pm - 2.30pm

£6.00

Get festival updates direct to your inbox