Saturday, 18 February 2017
Book Review: Kings of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon
Author: Catherine Curzon
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books
Publication Date: 31 March 2017
Format: eBook - PDF
Source: ARC via NetGalley
For over a century of turmoil, upheaval and scandal, Great Britain was a Georgian land. From the day the German-speaking George I stepped off the boat from Hanover, to the night that George IV, bloated and diseased, breathed his last at Windsor, the four kings had presided over a changing nation.
Kings Georgian Britain offers a fresh perspective on the lives of the four Georges and the events that shaped their characters and reigns. From love affairs to family feuds, political wrangling and beyond, it is a chance to peer behind the pomp and follow these iconic figures from cradle to grave. As their very different lives will show, being a king isn't always about grand parties and jaw-dropping jewels, and sometimes following in a father's footsteps can be the hardest job around.
Take a step back in time and meet the wives, mistresses, friends and foes of these remarkable kings who shaped the nation, and find out what really went on behind closed palace doors. Whether dodging assassins, marrying for money, digging up their ancestors or sparking domestic disputes that echoed down the generations, the Georgian kings of Great Britain were never short on drama. (Goodreads Synopsis)
I would describe Kings of Georgian England as an introductory text. In the small page count, there is only a limited amount of space in which Curzon can describe each of the four kings' personalities and reigns, but she manages to include some fun facts and enticing details, all written in a readable, straightforward prose that never feels too stodgy. For me, this is a great book to turn to if you are relatively unfamiliar with the period and looking for a quick overview. This work won't tell you everything, but it provides a good place to start and includes an extensive bibliography for further reading. The Georgian era is one I love, so most of the information in Kings of Georgian England was familiar to me. However, there were a few little side stories I'd not come across before, and the book certainly reigniting my enthusiasm for further reading about the period. If you are a scholar of the 18th century, this book may not have much to offer. Nonetheless, I am awarding it four stars because it is perfect for the novice historian coming to era for the first time.