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King George III of England (1760–1820) and his queen, Charlotte, had 15 children, among them six daughters, on whom Fraser (The Unruly Queen) focuses her family portrait. She depicts royals who attempted to live a rather homey life, but were torn both by the king's famous madness and by complex political and affectionate alliances within the family itself. Fraser has a great source that she uses extensively: the prolific and elegant letters of Charlotte and her daughters. Their correspondence reveals personalities and daily details that attach the reader to their lives. The letters are at times less informative than suggestive; over-reliance on them contributes a wandering quality to the narrative and too many precious tidbits that Fraser apparently couldn't bear to leave out. She also tends to set up situations that take too long to play out, the most significant being the onset of George's madness. The madness, though, is at the center of the women's lives: it not only helped weaken the monarchy further, it wrecked a happy marriage, created rifts out of family tensions and contributed to only three of George's talented daughters marrying, and then too late in life to have children, while two others triggered scandal with their affairs. It's a sad and fascinating story. 24 pages of color illus. Agent, Jonathan Lloyd.(Apr. 8) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Henry VIII had six wives, but George III had as many daughters, and the half-dozen female offspring of that long-reigning and ever-productive king (who also fathered nine sons) are the collective subject of this greatly involving biography by the author of The Unruly Queen (1996), a well-respected chronicle of George III's daughter-in-law, Queen Caroline. The reader may find it difficult at first to keep straight all the princesses, their names, their individual personalities, and their place in the lineup of siblings but soon will comfortably ease into Fraser's expansive, leisurely, but certainly not dawdling narrative, which opens into a rich tapestry of sheltered lives and parental restrictions. Fraser, in her immaculately professional manner, gives ample evidence of how the king's possessiveness toward his daughters, as well as the effect of his disastrous physical and mental breakdown on not only the country but also the royal household, channeled each of the six princesses into "subversive behavior and even acts of desperation." Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
3.5 stars. A good history, and the scenes dealing with George III's final descent into madness are riveting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Gunnar Grey
GEORGE III AND HIS DAUGHTERS: This is a sensible read if you're looking for detail and trivia. It is slow and boring, like required reading when you're in the 11th grade on a... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Joseph H. Race
This isn't a terrible book but it could have much better.
First, too many names and trivial details were mentioned. Read more
The condition of the book is even better than I imagined. Thanks!Published 13 months ago by Jess Schira
An interesting book. I don't have anything against George III, he did the best he could, but I'm glad I wasn't one of his daughters.Published 18 months ago by Margery Green
What a great book! I learned so much from it, including some American History. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyonePublished 22 months ago by M. Chessey
Fascinating! I just dived into the lives of those princesses and the pain of Queen Charlotte..... Thank you Flora Fraser.Published on October 7, 2013 by Sue Beej