About a year ago I was very lucky at a jumble sale and found "Aristocrats" by Stella Tillyard for less than a pound. It´s not a novel, but a biography about the four Lennox sisters, daughters of the second Duke of Richmond and relatives of George II and George III. George III even courted one of them, Sarah.
The biography is a hugely entertaining read and the mass of letters the sisters wrote to each other really gives a good insight into their personalities and relationships. They were mostly concerned with family and shopping, even though some of their husbands were distinguished noble men and politicians during a time that saw great change, like the American independence and the French Revolution.
I didn´t realize that a television series had been made, based on the book, until this summer, when I had an hour at my disposal in the film and music department at Harrods. I couldn´t resist buying it, and last night I watched all six episodes. It had been dramatized from the point of view of the second sister, Emily, who married the irish Earl of Kildare. As one would expect from a BBC period production, it was all top notch. I was especially impressed by the casting. The actors playing the younger versions of the characters and the ones playing the older versions were so alike in looks and expressions that they really might have been the same person. For example, Anne-Marie Duff and Diana Quick are eerily alike. And I was really happy to see Siân Phillips as Emily, a rare treat. She is perhaps mostly known for her role as the wicked Livia in "I, Claudius" from 1976. I´m a bit tempted to get the dvd for that series, too.