Author: Janice Hadlow
Hadlow presents a startling and real portrait of George III, a self conscious, scared little boy who becomes king of England, following the frightful George I, George II and Frederick, his Hanoverian predecessors. Hadlow sets the scene with her poignant revelations of a family history of hate and betrayal, as the Hanoverian kings throw their eldest sons and heirs to the wolves. George III’s mother, Charlotte, secludes George as a child away from the court and all that he needs to know to grow into his role as king in order to protect him from his grandfather the King. Charlotte’s mistrust of the court falls into George’s sanguine nature, and until he finds a friend in John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, he lingers in his studies and dreads his coming of age and his destiny. When Bute takes over the prince’s personality and shows him his strengths instead of his weaknesses, George forms a deep dependence on his only friend, Bute.
As Bute teaches George that the only good king is a good family man and a man of morals and integrity, George decides that he will change the Hanoverian legacy of hate between family members. He chooses Charlotte for his wife, and sets out to rule with his family as a priority. But when Bute leaves him after a political scandal and upheaval, George is left to flounder once again.
This is not only a biography of the Mad King George III, the King we see as the enemy in our country’s independence, but a deep and startling portrait of a son, a father of 15, a husband to his beloved Queen Charlotte and a ruler with no political expertise. George knows he should never have become king; he hasn’t the personal strength for the rule of England and yet he strives to the role of goodness that Bute has set out for him.
And Hadlow reveals the man before his bout of madness in his older age, a feat that perhaps defines this biography in its greatness.
Absolutely alluring, written with empathy, fact and brilliance, I could not put this book down. We feel part of George’s passion and promise and suffer with his falls. As Hadlow brings the man and not the role to center stage, she captures our hearts with her story. Magnificent!
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III is available on Amazon.com as well as booksellers nationwide.