The Favourite: Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, was as glamorous as she was controversial. Politically influential and independently powerful, she was an intimate, and then a blackmailer, of Queen Anne, accusing her of keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham.
Ophelia Field's masterly biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her - fitting now that her story has inspired the award-winning film starring Rachel Weisz as Sarach Churchill and Oscar winning actress Olivia Colman as Queen Anne.
In the 17th century the Florentine artist Orazio Gentileschi created a series of nine paintings, which were removed from the Queen’s House in 1708 and given by Queen Anne to her favourite, Sarah Churchill. The canvases were installed in Marlborough House, St James, where they remain to this day. A portrait of Queen Anne by Michael Dahl hangs in the Queen's House.
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