Georgian Society for East Yorkshire

Book Review: "The Daughters of George III - Sisters and Princesses" By Catherine Curzon.

The three eldest daughters of George III: Charlotte, Augusta and Elizabeth.

The three eldest daughters of George III: Charlotte, Augusta and Elizabeth.

Painting by Dupont after Gainsborough. Circa 1780.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020

Review by Jane Payne.

Catherine Curzon has made a study of the Georgian kings and queens. In 2018, Pen and Sword published her "The Scandal of George III’s Court."

She has built up an extensive list of sources, especially from the time. This is not, however, an arid list of events and quotes, but very readable. There is a full range of quality black and white illustrations featuring portraits of the main characters, including a couple of cartoons.

After an overview of the family as a whole, the book takes each daughter in order of her birth and provides a biography against the backdrop of the King’s declining health. Whilst the stories unfold sequentially, they can be read independently.

The focus of interest is family and amorous relationships although the horrors of Georgian medicine do not fail to make an appearance. Care is taken to provide a range of sources and possible causes of misinformation where the gossip is producing conflicting accounts. Costumes also feature especially for weddings. Mention is made of the education of each princess, with the Court having access to many leading artists and musicians of the day. Princess Elizabeth has always been the one I have found most interesting as she was a talented artist and later in life, garden designer.

Copies of the book are available from RRP £19.99

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