Trethewey, Rachel 1967-
TRETHEWEY, Rachel 1967-
Born October 12, 1967. Education: St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, B.A. (history), 1986.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Hodder Headline, 338 Euston Rd., London NW1 3BH, England.
Daily Express, features writer, 1989-92; Daily Mail, features writer, 1993-96; freelance journalist, 1996—. Health spokesperson for East Devon and Cornwall Liberal-Democrats chair, Torwood Branch Liberal-Democrats, Torbay.
Mistress of the Arts: The Passionate Life of Georgina, Duchess of Bedford (biography), Review (London, England), 2002.
British journalist and politician Rachel Trethewey is the author Mistress of the Arts: The Passionate Life of Georgina, Duchess of Bedford, a biography of Georgina Gordon, sixth Duchess of Bedford, who lived from 1781 to 1853. Gordon, a remarkable woman in her own right, was particularly known for her love affair with the famous artist Edwin Landseer. The relationship lasted some twenty years, during which time the duchess maintained a happy marriage to John Russell, the duke of Bedford, even though he knew of the affair. Gordon and Landseer, who was much younger than his lover and who painted many portraits of the duchess, shared a passion for art that matched a fiery relationship; at the same time, Gordon's husband offered her the stability she needed in her life. Amazingly, she was able to maintain a balance between the two and navigate a happy relationship with both throughout their lives. "It worked," Trethewey explains, "because of the characters of the two men. The Duke was very mellow and tolerant. He gave Georgina stability and position, Landseer gave her passion, excitement. She needed both aspects in her life. At times, I think neither man was entirely happy with the situation, but neither wanted to lose her because she was so life-enhancing." While Spectator writer Brian Masters merely described the biography as a "competent" effort, a Kirkus Reviews critic described Mistress of the Arts as "tactful yet open: much like Georgina's personality."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Australian, June 21, 2003, Diana Simmonds, "Portrait of Grand Lady as a Scamp," p. B11.
Guardian (Manchester, England), July 29, 1996, Roy Greenslade, "Commons Thread. Why Do Some Journalists Want to Swap Front Page Glory for Backbench Obscurity?," p. T14.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of Mistress of the Arts: The Passionate Life of Georgina, Duchess of Bedford, p. 740.
Scotsman, July 20, 2002, Susan Mansfield, "Painted Lady of Passion."
Spectator, July 27, 2002, Brian Masters, "House Guests Rather than Friends," p. 38.*