9780805096569

A Royal Experiment The Private Life of King George III

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780805096569

  • ISBN10:

    0805096566

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 11/18/2014
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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Summary

The Times Best Books of the Year • The Sunday Times Best Books of the Year
The New Statesman Book of the Year selection by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
BBC History Magazine Book of the Year selection by Helen Rappaport
"A masterpiece . . . . [T]his heartbreaking narrative of family dysfunction and royal sacrifice is an absolute page-turner." —Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

"[A] fascinating, story-filled account . . . . Each story is a revelation." —Jenny Uglow, The Guardian

The surprising, deliciously dramatic, and ultimately heartbreaking story of King George III's radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children

In the U.S., Britain's George III, the protagonist of A Royal Experiment, is known as the king from whom Americans won their independence and as "the mad king," but in Janice Hadlow's groundbreaking and entertaining new biography, he is another character altogether—compelling and relatable.

He was the first of Britain's three Hanoverian kings to be born in England, the first to identify as native of the nation he ruled. But this was far from the only difference between him and his predecessors. Neither of the previous Georges was faithful to his wife, nor to his mistresses. Both hated their own sons. And, overall, their children were angry, jealous, and disaffected schemers, whose palace shenanigans kick off Hadlow's juicy narrative and also made their lives unhappy ones.

Pained by his childhood amid this cruel and feuding family, George came to the throne aspiring to be a new kind of king—a force for moral good. And to be that new kind of king, he had to be a new kind of man. Against his irresistibly awful family background—of brutal royal intrigue, infidelity, and betrayal—George fervently pursued a radical domestic dream: he would have a faithful marriage and raise loving, educated, and resilient children.

The struggle of King George—along with his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their 15 children—to pursue a passion for family will surprise history buffs and delight a broad swath of biography readers and royal watchers.

Author Biography

Janice Hadlow has been the Controller of BBC Two since 2008. She was educated at comprehensive school in Swanley, in north Kent, and graduated with a BA in History from King’s College London in 1978. This is her first book. She currently lives in Watlington, Oxfordshire.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi
Family Tree xviii
Prologue 1
1. The Strangest Family 17
2. A Passionate Partnership 44
3. Son and Heir 79
4. The Right Wife 127
5. A Modern Marriage 154
6. Fruitful 182
7. Private Lives 208
8. A Sentimental Education 226
9. Numberless Trials 274
10. Great Expectations 309
11. An Intellectual Malady 352
12. Three Weddings 417
13. The Wrong Lovers 473
14. Established 535
Notes 619
Bibliography 650
Acknowledgements 655
Illustration Credits 659
Index 661

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