GEORGE III: The Story of a Complex Man by J. C. Long

GEORGE III: The Story of a Complex Man

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While chiefly an account of English politics under George III, George's personal life is discussed at the beginning and end. George II hated George III's father and kept him from any power- and young George, reared by his domineering mother and by the upstart Lord Bute, spent much of his life trying to assert himself. Shy, moody, stubborn, given to nervous breakdowns but ""physically courageous"", he fought his various ministries for power. But when finally attended by a ministry he could dominate, he lost America, and hesitated dangerously during the Gordon riots. Parliament took over, thus ending the last attempt of an English king for independence- and George spent his last years in bouts of violent madness, ending as a blind, deaf, gentle ghost who haunted Windsor Castle while many of his fifteen children ran up gambling debts and illegitimate offspring. Too much of his fascinating story is obscured by political detail and a dry style. The most personal biographer in the book seems to give the most poignant view of the king as man. An interesting history-but perhaps too cautious as a biography.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1960
Publisher: Little, Brown