cover image A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III

A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III

Janice Hadlow. Holt, $35 (704p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9656-9

Beginning with the ill-fated match of George I and Sophia Dorothea, the stage was set for the Hanoverian royals: rifts between husband and wife, and father and son, were the standard family dynamic. But in this engrossing and thorough portrait, BBC executive Hadlow reveals George III as a young man who wanted change%E2%80%94one who believed being a good king started with being a good person, a good husband, and a good father%E2%80%94and he set out to pursue a moral family life. He got off to a relatively good start, according to Hadlow, arranging a fulfilling marriage with Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, moving the family to a more private residence, and being actively involved in the informal raising of 15 children. Hadlow reveals the difficulties of living a private life in the public sphere and how, despite George III's good intentions, the tension of succession, political difficulties (including the American war of independence and conflict with the French), and a fall into fits of madness dominated royal family relations. Hadlow provides a critical, yet compassionate and intimate account of George III's trials and tribulations in undertaking to create the ideal family. Agent: Peter Robinson; Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.). (Nov.)