Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Reading Assignment: A Royal Affair

Stella Tillyard is a first-rate writer of approachable, non-scholarly histories.  A Royal Affair: George III and his Scandalous Siblings is an interesting look at the British Royal family in the mid-1700's.  George III was not the son of George II, but his grandson.  His own father, Prince Frederick, died young and his mother, Princess Augusta, chose to raise her nine children sheltered from worldly influences.  It's implied that this upbringing may have made some of the children turn out to be a tad rebellious.  Not George himself, who was kept strictly under the thumb of his mother's advisor, but each sibling who lived to adulthood was involved in scandals of various magnitude.

Edward, Duke of York

William Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland

Caroline Matilda: Queen of Denmark

Much of the book is about the youngest sister, Caroline Matilda, who married Christian VII, King of Denmark and had an affair with his physician.  The physician was executed, Caroline separated from her young children and exiled.  There's a Danish movie about this that I haven't seen yet.  If your interest in history is based on fashion and romantic stories, then this book might be a good choice for you.

PS  Stella Tillyard also wrote The Aristocrats, about the Lennox family.  I wrote about it for an earlier reading assignment. It was made into a fantastic miniseries for Masterpiece Theater.


  1. This looks fascinating. I'm not at all familiar with the Hanoverian line of kinds, other than history related to the American Revolution, so I'm glad you found a book that's good.

  2. I know nothing of these people! Right now I'm reading "Enchanments" which is historical fiction about the last tsar of Russia and Rasputin's's really entertaining and lovely.

  3. I've been planning to see that movie, as the actor who plays the physician is the same actor who plays a lead role in "After the Wedding," a movie by Danish director Susanne Bier. He was magnificent in that movie. Ask Not Beehive - she loved it, too.

  4. Oooh - this sounds interesting! Thanks for the recommendation.