Cover image for George III : a personal history
George III : a personal history
Hibbert, Christopher, 1924-2008.
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
xiii, 463 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1460 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA506.A2 H53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DA506.A2 H53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In George III: A Personal History, British historian Christopher Hibbert reassesses the royal monarch George III (1738-1820). Rather than reaffirm George III's reputation as "Mad King George," Hibbert portrays him as not only a competent ruler during most of his reign, but also as a patron of the arts and sciences, as a man of wit and intelligence, indeed, as a man who "greatly enhanced the reputation of the British monarchy" until he was finally stricken by a rare hereditary disease.Teeming with court machinations, sexual intrigues, and familial conflicts, George III opens a window on the tumultuous, rambunctious, revolutionary eighteenth century. It is sure to alter our understanding of this fascinating, complex, and very human king who so strongly shaped England's --and America's--destiny.

Author Notes

Christopher Hibbert: March 5, 1924 -- December 21, 2008

Historian Christopher Hibbert was born as Arthur Raymond Hibbert in Enderby, England in 1924. He dropped out of Oriel College to join the Army. He served with the London Irish Rifles and won the Military Cross. He earned a degree in history in 1948. Before becoming a full-time nonfiction writer, he worked as a real estate agent and a television critic for Truth magazine.

He wrote more than 60 books throughout his lifetime including The Road to Tyburn (1957), Il Duce: The Life of Benito Mussolini(1962), George IV: Prince of Wales, 1762-1811 (1972), and George IV: Regent and King, 1812-1830 (1973). Hibbert was awarded the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962 for The Destruction of Lord Raglan. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographical Society, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature by the University of Leicester. He died from bronchial pneumonia on December 21, 2008 at the age of 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

As has been the case with Hibbert's recent biographies The Virgin Queen: A Personal History of Elizabeth I (1990), Nelson (CH, Jun'95), and Wellington (1997), this study is also is a "personal history." Thus, Hibbert has not tried to place King George in the context of the great public events of his reign, but instead attempts to describe his personal traits and family life. Basing his narrative on numerous primary-source documents, Hibbert offers a pleasant and affectionate portrait of the well-intentioned, plain-speaking "Farmer George." The king's rather more complex political dealings are only sketched in as background. Recent scholarship--McAlpine and Hunter on George's illness, Linda Colley on his popularity, Frank Prochaska on his charities--is cited, but only in footnotes. Comprehensive index and list of sources by chapter. Recommended for general readers and beginning history students. J. R. Breihan Loyola College

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Author's Notep. xiii
Family Treep. xiv
Part 1
1 'The Greatest Beast in the Whole World'p. 3
2 Father and Sonp. 8
3 The Pupil and His Tutorsp. 14
4 The 'Dearest Friend'p. 22
5 Death of 'the Old Man'p. 33
6 Bride and Bridegroomp. 40
7 First Impressionsp. 49
8 Buckingham Housep. 57
9 Duties and Diversionsp. 71
10 A Promising Startp. 76
11 Dukes and Ministersp. 88
12 Family Lifep. 96
13 A Turbulent Ministryp. 105
14 John Wilkesp. 115
15 Troubles in Americap. 122
16 John Wilkes Returnsp. 130
17 'A Man of Admirable Parts'p. 138
18 'An Ugly Job'p. 149
19 Surrender at Yorktownp. 155
20 The King's Brothersp. 166
21 The King's Sistersp. 174
22 The Move to Windsorp. 177
23 At Mrs Delany'sp. 184
24 The Squire of Windsorp. 191
25 'Gross Abuses in the Expenditure of Public Money'p. 208
Part 2
26 The Gordon Riotsp. 215
27 Attempted Murderp. 226
28 King George versus Mr Foxp. 231
29 The Profligate Heirp. 237
30 The Defeat of Foxp. 243
31 A Secret Marriagep. 248
32 The 'Medical Tribe'p. 254
33 The Lincolnshire Mad-Doctorp. 275
34 Doctors' Dilemmap. 282
35 The King's Recoveryp. 288
36 Prayers and Celebrationsp. 294
37 Weymouth en fetep. 304
38 War with Francep. 308
39 Relapse and Recoveryp. 315
40 A Disastrous Marriagep. 322
41 The Angry Fatherp. 332
42 A Dreaded Interviewp. 336
43 'An Astonishing Change for the Worse'p. 339
44 Princess Charlotte and her Motherp. 351
45 The Royal Dukesp. 358
46 The Conservative Gentlemanp. 373
47 The Nunneryp. 377
48 Apotheosisp. 386
49 Regencyp. 396
50 Last Days at Windsorp. 405
Notes on Sourcesp. 411
Bibliographyp. 426
Indexp. 445