A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III
Then he would give tours of the room to his wife and their courtiers, explaining the story behind each illicit and shockingly amorous painting. Hadlow's writing was so wonderful that I was emotionally affected by the story, and I suffered for what Caroline must have been feeling. True to form for the Georgians, George and Caroline despised their son Frederick with a "pathological intensity".
To play devil's advocate, Frederick took as his lovers women who had served BOTH his father and his grandfather, and adored practical jokes such as setting up bowls of water that would fall on peoples' heads when they walked through doorways, so you can't blame his parents entirely.
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Fred once wrapped a fat politician in a blanket and rolled him down the stairs!!! Still, this doesn't justify his mother's repeated wish that her son was dead.
Fred did in fact end up dying rather early, leaving his eldest son George as heir to the throne. When George III became King in , he had a lot of novel ideas about kingship based on things he had read and things he had experienced in his own life he mostly wanted to do the opposite of those things , and Hadlow explores this in detail. This part for me was a little bit dry, but only in comparison with how riveting the first part of the book was.
Hadlow talks in length about George and Charlotte's relationship, their child-rearing philosophies, their ridiculously large number of children, George's madness, and family politics. True to form, they bitterly hated their eldest son, another George, who got drunk at quite a lot of their family parties and threw up in front of their guests.
The disastrous reigns of his Georgian ancestors were characterized by scandal, extravagance, and little interaction with their British subjects. After George III's year reign, the British monarchy was aligned with duty and obligation, identifying with the people, and the foundation of family stability.
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George's was the first royal family to be highly visible to the people, and the continuation of this led to the British royals' current status as popular celebrities. This then, the revolutionizing of the kingship, was George's Royal Experiment. Sadly for George III, despite how hard he tried to get away from the ugliness and dysfunction of his predecessors, he was still dogged persistently by scandal throughout his long reign. Of course there was his mysterious malady, claimed by some to be porphyria and by others to be mental illness, which kept him confined in strait jackets for many years.
In so doing, George III aimed to make the royal family a moral example to the nation. Little of it seems to have much to do with her thesis. Unconvincing as revisionist history but enjoyable for its vivid depiction of several varieties of royal lifestyles—and plenty of royal gossip.
A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III by Janice Hadlow ()
Two Reviews of ‘A Royal Experiment: the Private Life of George III’, by Janice Hadlow
George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte, raised their 13 children in a climate of love, but the king's disapproval alienated his sons, and his determination to protect his daughters from the marriage market left them lonely and resentful. Also published under the title The Strangest Family.
How a queen promoted art and female artists in English society. Hannah Regina by Michael Kreps. The Prince and the Quakeress by Jean Plaidy.
Novel about George III's early romance with a woman named Hannah Lightfoot whom he was rumored to have secretly married. From Plaidy's Georgian Saga series. The Third George by Jean Plaidy. A biography of the daughters of "Mad" King George III: Charlotte, constantly at odds with her mother; family-oriented Augusta; gifted artist Elizabeth; bland beauty Mary; emotional Sophia, who had an illegitimate child; and turbulent Amelia.
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Kept from marrying by their father, the sisters led secretly scandalous lives. His turbulent personal life led to scandal. Biography of the youngest and, arguably, favorite son of George III. Published in Describes the relationships between the 15 children of George III, the characters who surrounded the court, and the mess that the brothers made of their lives. Wicked Ernest by John Wardroper. Scandal was never too far from the House of Hanover. This book offers eye-brow raising tales of illegitimate children, illegal marriages, and more.