MRS. FITZHERBERT by Anita Leslie
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MRS. FITZHERBERT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Written by a descendant of her heroine's adopted daughter, this delightful book by the English author of The Fabulous Leonard Jerome is the story of a long-hidden royal romance. For Mrs. Fitzherbert was for thirty years the legal but unacknowledged wife of George, Prince of Wales and Regent of England, who became King George IV. Born Maria ythe in 1756, daughter of a wealthy Catholic family at a time when English Catholics were ied legal rights, the lovely and virtuous Mrs. Fitzherbert was twice widowed when, at she met the Prince of Wales, six years her junior and notorious for his extravagance love-affairs. Falling in love with her at sight, pursuing her with threats of suicide, a 1785 the Prince induced her to marry him, a legal marriage kept secret because of her religion and the Royal Marriage Act; only after his death in 1830 did Mrs. Fitzherbert rself reveal it. Beautiful and sympathetic, moving in high society but forced to live a behind-the- scenes wife to her unsatisfactory husband, she endured for years his unfaithfulness, his mistresses, even his acknowledged wife, the German Princess he married, sping for an heir, and then left. Although he never kept her wanting for money, the ince broke with Mrs. Fitzherbert when he reached the throne, cutting her openly, a snub returned with interest; when he died, of over-eating, her miniature was on his breast was buried with him. No one knows if there were children of the marriage for Mrs. Fitzherbert never told and burned many of her letters before her death in 1837; other tters were destroyed by order of Queen Victoria. Carefully documented and based on maining family letters, this witty and charming story of a fascinating woman and her mes will appeal to followers of biography and of good books; it belongs in public and historical libraries, and will be an excellent outside text for classes in late 18th and early 19th English history.

Publisher: Scribner