Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$0.72
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by BookdonorsUK
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Shipped from the UK. Paperback which reflects used condition. Friendly customer service. We are a not-for-profit Social Enterprise trading in used books to help people, charities and the environment.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Madness of George III Paperback – May, 1995

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback, May, 1995
$7.66 $0.72

Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more

Editorial Reviews

Review

"What Bennett has done in 'Madness' is to powerfully re-imagine the atmosphere of George's royal court, giving the dialogue a modern twist while keeping it from sounding anachronistic. The pleasure he takes in the spoken word, his ability to etch characters in both acid and compassion, to write such lines of dialogue as 'the state of the monarchy and the state of lunacy share a frontier' set this film thankfully apart."

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"What Bennett has done in 'Madness' is to powerfully re-imagine the atmosphere of George's royal court, giving the dialogue a modern twist while keeping it from sounding anachronistic. The pleasure he takes in the spoken word, his ability to etch characters in both acid and compassion, to write such lines of dialogue as 'the state of the monarchy and the state of lunacy share a frontier' set this film thankfully apart."

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057117616X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571176168
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,254,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Bennett is a renowned playwright and essayist, a succession of whose plays have been staged at the Royal National Theatre and whose screenplay for The Madness of King George was nominated for an Academy Award. He made his first stage appearance with Beyond the Fringe and his latest play was The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith. Episodes from his award-winning Talking Heads series have been shown on PBS. His first novel, The Clothes They Stood Up In, was published in 2000. He lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the fall of 1993 I saw the brilliant British import "The Madness of George III" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) with the superb Nigel Hawthorne in the title role. The beautifully structured play by Alan Bennett was entertaining and on another level highly enlightening. Playgoers come away with an understanding of palace politics and operations as well as an insight into Parliamentary political party maneuvering.
The king who ruled from 1760 to 1811, probably through a bout of porphyria has a severe mental breakdown. His servants call attention to his urine which has turned blue. The worthless profligate son, the Prince of Wales, means his father no good and hopes that his condition will deteriorate so he can be named Regent. Quack doctors are called in, and the bloodletting, blistering, and emetics that they prescribe are like torture. Medical science at the time of the play's action (1788-89) was primitive and more like voodoo. The mad king wins over the audience because he is suffering such hardship from his malady and from the constant "cures."
The king says, "I am not going out of my mind; my mind is going out of me." His pages have to take on the difficult task of treating their master as a mental patient rather than as a royal personage. One of the pages, Fortnum, leaves the king's service and forms the famous high end food store on Piccadilly called Fortnum and Mason's.
A doctor who knows how to treat mental patients, a medical man and clergyman, Dr. Willis, is called in by the king's backers. He treats his patient firmly, sometimes having him strait-jacketed, bound in a chair, even gagged if he thinks the king's language is prurient. The king must be exercised and his spirit broken like a horse, says Willis.
Read more ›
Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Poor old King George III. This is a revised text of Alan Bennett's play, very slightly shortened from the original, and published in 1995. It was, of course, the precursor to the movie, "The Madness of King George", also written by Bennett.

I was reluctant to read this play, as English history can be confusing when one doesn't know much about it, but Alan Bennett - in a crystal-clear Introduction - gives the reader all that he/she needs for understanding.

King George III of England and Ireland developed intermittent "madness" in middle age. It was eventually reasoned that the madness resulted from a disease called porphyria, one of the triggers for which can be large doses of arsenic. During the 20th century it was indeed found (from analysing saved samples of his hair) that the King had absorbed arsenic into his system from a number of sources including a medication meant to help him.

His initial intermittent bouts of illness and madness eventually became a steady state of insanity, and before his death his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent.

The play is set during and after the first frightening bout of the King's illness. It makes the sad story, and the madness, genuinely funny, but not at all in a denigrating or insulting way. It is tender and hilarious, and also awful in that the medical profession (a whole heap of it) hovers around with dangerous guesses and conflicting loyalties which tend to influence their diagnoses and prognoses. Incorruptible, they are not. In their incompetence they take note of inconsequential symptoms while ignoring the most important ones: His Majesty's blue or purple urine is of no consequence. Their prescribed treatments are hair-raising. Neither reason nor logic play a part in their ministrations.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know how a person can show the madness he showed in the manner that he did and when he did. I like these types of books but they are not my favorite reads.
Comment 0 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a very enjoyable movie but it must not be forgotten that this is a "based on fact" story. The story line of the movie mixes the events of King Georges life in order to create a good story. It focuses to much on certain parts of his life and leaves others out completely. I would rate it as a very good movie but not all the accurate on historical events. The costuming is very well done and might be useful to someone researching clothing history. It would also be useful for alternative views of an historical figure as long as the viewer is willing to do the research to verify certain aspects of the story presented.
Comment 0 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I once read that, in addition to his unfortunate condition of porphyria, the mental effects of which became the basis for this screenplay, King George also had an anal fistula. Perhaps this explains his dyspeptic attitude toward the American colonies, since we were such a pain in the a__, and he already, as a result of the fistula, had plenty of them.
I also learned once that the French King, Louis XIV, used to hold court with his advisors and other notables while receiving his daily enema, thereby making him sort of a public "enema of the people." No wonder the French monarchy had so many problems.
It's amazing how much of history seems to relate to the proctological vagaries of its rulers. In George III's case, because of his unfortunate anal fistula, one could say it perhaps ultimately came down to a problem with the bottom of the man at the top.
2 Comments 5 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse