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Royal Experiment : Love and Duty, Madness and Betrayal—The Private Lives of King George III and
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"A masterpiece. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, this heartbreaking narrative of family dysfunction and royal sacrifice is an absolute page-turner." -Amanda Foreman, author ofGeorgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
"Fascinating....Each story is a revelation." -Jenny Uglow, The Guardian
"Particularly incisive-and, it should be stressed, completely accessible." -Booklist (Starred review)
In this magnificent and wonderfully readable biography of Great Britain's King George III, Janice Hadlow exposes with astonishing emotional force King George's attempt to achieve what none of his forebears had accomplished: a happy family life.
To Americans, George III has long been doubly famous-as the "tyrant" from whom colonial revolutionaries wrested a nation's liberty and, owing to his late-life illness, as "the mad king." InA Royal Experiment, he is also a man with a poignant agenda. He comes to the throne in 1760, at age twenty-two, determined to be a new kind of king, one whose power will be rooted in the affection and approval of his people. He is equally resolute about being a new kind of man, a husband able to escape the extraordinary family dysfunction of his Hanoverian predecessors and maintain domestic harmony.
For a long time, it seems as if, against the odds, George's great experiment might succeed. His wife, Queen Charlotte, shares his sense of moral purpose, and together they do everything they can to raise their tribe of thirteen sons and daughters in a climate of loving attention.
But in a rapidly more populous and prosperous England, throughout years of revolution in America and in France, the struggle to achieve a new balance between politics and privacy places increasing stress on George, Charlotte, and their children. The story that roils across the long arc of George's life and reign is high drama-tragic and riveting.