Prinny and His Pals

Description

From the first biography of George IV in 1831 to the last in 2001, Mad King George’s son has commonly been held up to ridicule as a weak, selfish, and incompetent spendthrift, barely tolerated by his ministers, loathed by most of his family, and dependent on the emotional support of grasping mistresses. However, acclaimed historian Tom Ambrose—author of Godfather of the Revolution: The Life of Phillipe Egalité, Duc D’Orléans—has uncovered new details on "Prinny" that suggests that, for all his faults, George IV just may have been the most humane and amusing of all British monarchs, notwithstanding his love of the high life. Central to the story is the vast array of friends that populate a remarkable reign as Prince Regent and King. If Prinny, as they knew him, was so grotesquely foolish, how did he amass such a fascinating (and loyal) group of friends? Could any other British ruler count among his friends the country’s most brilliant playwright (Richard Sheridan), or the wiliest statesman (Charles Fox), or the greatest political philosopher (Edmund Burke), not to mention perhaps the biggest loveable rogues’ gallery London ever saw? The truth was that Prinny’s occasional buffoonery and imposing girth made him the perfect target for political satirists and cartoonists—at their zenith during his reign—and his high qualities have been consistently overlooked. This warm, funny, and affectionate portrait displays George at his very best: delighting some of the finest minds of his generation, easily winning over his subjects and his family as well as treating his lovers with care and concern—and roistering with all his pals.

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