Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness

I found Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness* a relaxing read. It follows the lives of three amazing women, who lived in early 19th century. Furness tried to showcase the lives of wealthy women through three case studies: Harriet Leveson-Gower, Countess Granville; Lady Mary Isham; and Elizabeth Manners, Duchess of Rutland. While not every genteel woman would have had a similar upbringing, the challenges faced by these three women could be seen as indicative of the struggles and joys felt by many other women who lived in an English Country House.

Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness

Harriet Leveson-Gower was the second child of the Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who might be familiar to you. She married her aunt’s lover and raised his illegitimate children. Lady Mary Isham lived in Northamptonshire with her family where she was responsible for developing a house and estate. Elizabeth Manners, Duchess of Rutland used her upbringing to design and build a Castle and gardens at Belvoir suitable for her status.
All aspects of their lives are covered in the book, from having children, their roles in society, their roles within the home, which might have involved architectural changes to their homes, to bring them into modernity.

I gave the book 4 stars for two reasons. Firstly, she used too many quotes from secondary sources, which was not needed at all. Secondly, she structured the book a bit awkward, by theme instead of chronological by each of the women, so it was a bit difficult to follow. Overall is an interesting book, I recommend it, and I enjoyed it as well.

Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword History
Year it was published: 2023 (firstly in 2018)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History
Pages: 176

About the author: Charlotte Furness was born and raised in Huddersfield West Yorkshire.
After completing a BA in English, and an MA in Country House Studies at the University of Leicester, she started a career in heritage, working for English Heritage, Lamport Hall, Harewood House, Temple Newsam House, Renishaw Hall and more.
She now works as a full-time writer and heritage historian, exploring women’s history and the history of the country house.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

2 thoughts on “Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness”

    • Yes, the topics are very interesting. The structure would have worked if she would have used examples from all over the country, not specific about 3 women.

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