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"Secrets of the Manor House" Secrets of Chatsworth (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, is among England's largest and grandest estates. It served to demonstrate to wealth and status of the Cavendish family, its earls, especially after their elevation to dukes, the highest non-royal peerage rank. Its size generated enough agricultural revenue to survive the modern age, more recently supplemented with tourism. In its Victorian high-day it featured the grandest hothouses for a then unsurpassed collection of tropical plants, the most excessive of various dazzling displays. The 2008 movie The Duchess portrays its most famous inhabitant, Georgina, gambling-addicted wife of the duke, both of which were seduced by the scheming upstart Bess Foster. Later it was the site of a transatlantic minor Kennedy love affair.

  • In its 500-year history, Chatsworth has been home to some notable inhabitants, among them the 5th Duke of Devonshire, his wife, Lady Georgiana Spencer, and Lady Elizabeth Foster, who lived together in a ménage à trois. King Edward VII enjoyed shooting parties on the estate and was often entertained by Duchess Louisa, one of Britain's foremost political hostesses. Duchess Louisa's daughter-in-law, American Consuelo Yznaga del Valle, introduced American heiresses into the British aristocracy; many of these young women married British noblemen. Billy Cavendish, heir of the 10th Duke of Devonshire, wooed and wed Kathleen Kennedy, the sister of future U.S. president John F Kennedy. The marriage was short-lived, however: Billy died in action in World War II four months after they exchanged vows. Four years later, Kathleen died in a plane crash. She was buried at Chatsworth.


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