George III: A Personal History

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9780140257373: George III: A Personal History

This biography is a re-examination of George III's political beliefs and aspirations, of his relationships with his ministers, and of the reasons why he was so widely loved by the British but reviled by his American subjects, who declared him "unfit to be the ruler of a free people".

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Review:

Clearly and engagingly written, with evident affection for his subject, Christopher Hibbert's George III describes the life and times of the man widely believed to have mistaken an oak tree for the King of Prussia. He didn't. That was one of many rumours spread by courtiers during his first bout of the insanity caused by porphyria: a rare hereditary disease, endemic in the Stuarts and transmitted to the Hanoverans via George I's mother, Sophia.

Colourfully illustrated and studded with witticisms, this book shows how George III's efforts to behave as a king ought to have earned him considerable popularity. Like Hibbert's Life of Johnson, Nelson and Wellington, this is more than a biography, and is subtitled A Personal History. This means that we don't only get the inside information on the monarch's manifold eccentricities, his charitable deeds, his love of books, clocks and large families, his cheerful fidelity to a plain and difficult wife, and what he felt about his nine legitimate and approximately 53 illegitimate grandchildren. We also learn about the background to the American War of Independence, the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots and the intricacies of English--or rather British--politics during the second half of the 18th century.

A terrific, informative read for anyone interested in the monarchy and 18th- century history and politics.Lisa Gee --.

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Hibbert, Christopher
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140257373 ISBN 13: 9780140257373
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Hibbert, Christopher
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Hibbert, Christopher
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140257373 ISBN 13: 9780140257373
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