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Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them? From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a dev Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them? From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a devoted consort and a notorious party girl, the queens of Georgian Britain lived lives of scandal, romance and turbulent drama. Whether dipping into politics or carousing on the shores of Italy, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick refused to fade into the background. Queens of Georgian Britain offers a chance to step back in time and meet the women who ruled alongside the Georgian monarchs, not forgetting Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the passionate princess who never made it as far as the throne. From lonely childhoods to glittering palaces, via family feuds, smallpox, strapping soldiers and plenty of scheming, these are the queens who shaped an era.


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Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them? From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a dev Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them? From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a devoted consort and a notorious party girl, the queens of Georgian Britain lived lives of scandal, romance and turbulent drama. Whether dipping into politics or carousing on the shores of Italy, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick refused to fade into the background. Queens of Georgian Britain offers a chance to step back in time and meet the women who ruled alongside the Georgian monarchs, not forgetting Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the passionate princess who never made it as far as the throne. From lonely childhoods to glittering palaces, via family feuds, smallpox, strapping soldiers and plenty of scheming, these are the queens who shaped an era.

30 review for Queens of Georgian Britain

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily Ross

    Thank you to the publishers for providing an ARC of this book through NetGalley. This was a well written, informative and engaging mini biography of four ‘Queens’ of Georgian Britain. Prior to reading this, I didn’t know much about Georgian England, except that there were a lot of kings named George, but this showed an extremely fascination snapshot of the royal household across this period. I particularly liked how each Queen was contrasted with her predecessor, as well as the King Georges. I fo Thank you to the publishers for providing an ARC of this book through NetGalley. This was a well written, informative and engaging mini biography of four ‘Queens’ of Georgian Britain. Prior to reading this, I didn’t know much about Georgian England, except that there were a lot of kings named George, but this showed an extremely fascination snapshot of the royal household across this period. I particularly liked how each Queen was contrasted with her predecessor, as well as the King Georges. I found this topic fascinating, and this book was such a joy to read. I loved it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I very much enjoyed this but I am unsure if the format was for me. I think I would of preferred it to have covered less women and therefore been able to go into more detail. The light skimming occasionally made it a little confusing - not helped by the habit of eighteenth-century monarchs having irritatingly similar (or just downright identical) names. I did however appreciate how much this book was obviously researched, as shown through the inclusion of footnotes and an extensive biography. As I very much enjoyed this but I am unsure if the format was for me. I think I would of preferred it to have covered less women and therefore been able to go into more detail. The light skimming occasionally made it a little confusing - not helped by the habit of eighteenth-century monarchs having irritatingly similar (or just downright identical) names. I did however appreciate how much this book was obviously researched, as shown through the inclusion of footnotes and an extensive biography. As someone studying the eighteenth century at masters level, this is always welcomed in case I wish to pursue anything further. Overall, I do recommend this book if you are looking for an introduction to the Georgian monarchs. Although this is named Queens of Georgian Britian it does cover their counterparts enough to offer a slight overview of the Georgian kings. Saying that, Curzon does seem to have a volume entitled Kings of Georgian Britain if that is specifically what you are looking for.

  3. 4 out of 5

    K L

    This book brings together the four queen consorts of Georgian Britain. Well, one actually never was queen, but she fits in the with the rest quite nicely. As too often is the case with biographies or historical non-fiction I was afraid that it would read like one of those history school books. Luckily that worry was quickly forgotten. I did not find it dry or stuffy. Instead, the stories of these queens are well told and I flew through the pages, feeling like I was getting to know them. The autho This book brings together the four queen consorts of Georgian Britain. Well, one actually never was queen, but she fits in the with the rest quite nicely. As too often is the case with biographies or historical non-fiction I was afraid that it would read like one of those history school books. Luckily that worry was quickly forgotten. I did not find it dry or stuffy. Instead, the stories of these queens are well told and I flew through the pages, feeling like I was getting to know them. The author does a great job bringing these women, their husbands, and their respective characters to life. In this ARC copy there were no portraits or pictures until the very end and I do feel that would have enhanced the reading experience if they were interspersed throughout the text. I assume that will be the case in the printed book. All in all, a very interesting read. *read as an Arc e-book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Helen Carolan

    An amusing and entertaining read.Four queens are covered here so a lot of skimming of their lives is done. A pretty good read none-the -less.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Great overview of the women of this illustrious family.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Book received from NetGalley. *Review to Come*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Girl From the North Country

    A biographical collective on the popular history of four Georgian Queens, and a refreshing break from the more frequently covered Tudors & Plantagenets.  This also works as a companion to Catherine Curzon's previous collective "Kings of Georgian Britain", together making an easily digested & entertaining introduction to these lesser known figures.  This one covers Sophia Dorothea of Celle, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, & Caroline of Brunswick, all of whom have been unfa A biographical collective on the popular history of four Georgian Queens, and a refreshing break from the more frequently covered Tudors & Plantagenets.  This also works as a companion to Catherine Curzon's previous collective "Kings of Georgian Britain", together making an easily digested & entertaining introduction to these lesser known figures.  This one covers Sophia Dorothea of Celle, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, & Caroline of Brunswick, all of whom have been unfairly forced to take a backseat to their predessors.  Most of these women were brilliant & fascniating in their own right, but suffered silently for decades under the repressive regimes of in-laws, social mores, and selfish husbands.  Lucky for us, it would appear that the powers that be have taken notice: with a planned tv series based on Queen Charlotte (albeit on the basis of that unproven but alleged Moorish anscestry), and Laura Purcell's excellent Georgian Queens book series,  Curzon's collectives will make good reference books to keep on the shelf. 

  8. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Clifford

    In Queens of Georgian Britain, Catherine Curzon’s third book for Pen and Sword, she offers readers biographies of the female consorts of the Hanover kings – Caroline of Ansbach (George II), Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (George III) and Caroline of Brunswick (George IV), but she kicks off with their predecessor, the unfortunate Sophia Dorothea of Celle, who never made it to the throne. As with many high-born brides, Sophia Dorothea of Celle was essentially sold off to the highest bidder and w In Queens of Georgian Britain, Catherine Curzon’s third book for Pen and Sword, she offers readers biographies of the female consorts of the Hanover kings – Caroline of Ansbach (George II), Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (George III) and Caroline of Brunswick (George IV), but she kicks off with their predecessor, the unfortunate Sophia Dorothea of Celle, who never made it to the throne. As with many high-born brides, Sophia Dorothea of Celle was essentially sold off to the highest bidder and was not very happy about it. When she was told, aged 16, that that she was to marry her first cousin, George Louis, the future George I, she shouted, “I will not marry the pig snout!” (he was not a looker), and so deep was her antipathy that she fainted when she met him. The marriage was miserable and violent almost from the beginning, although Sophia Dorothea did her duty and produced two children, the future George II and the mother of Frederick the Great. Poor Sophia Dorothea’s fate was worthy of Game of Thrones plot: her lover, Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck, was ambushed and brutally murdered, possibly on the orders of the scheming Clara Elisabeth von Meysenburg and with the connivance of George Louis; she was divorced on the grounds of her desertion of her husband (while he had many mistresses of course) and deprived of her children (she never saw them again); thereafter she was confined to an estate at Ahlden in Celle, forbidden to go further than the gates. Caroline of Absbach, married to George II, was a very different kettle of fish. After a difficult and unsettled childhood during which she was orphaned and lived in relative poverty, she found respite in the care of Frederick, the Elector of Brandenburg (later King of Prussia), and his wife Sophia Charlotte. But when it came to marriage it was the usual story: she was reduced to a dynastic bargaining chip. A proposed match with the Catholic Archduke Charles of Austria failed (Caroline was a staunch Protestant) and she married George Augustus, the son of George Louis. The way they met, if true, was straight out of a romcom: on the hunt for a bride, he presented himself to her in disguise, admittedly as a nobleman but a rather ordinary one. Astonishingly, the couple fell for each other, although their true natures were revealed only after marriage: George Augustus was hot-tempered and thin-skinned and Caroline an arch schemer. Still, she was also clever, witty, blessed with a great intellect and pragmatic enough to accept that her husband would take mistresses. She sensibly helped choose them and befriended them in order to make sure they did not become a threat. United by in their rejection of their eldest son Frederick, the couple remained loyal to each other until her death. George never remarried. Frederick did not accede to the throne, having predeceased his father. The next king was his son, the shy, quiet George III, aged 22, who was now in the market for a wife. Shy, unworldly Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who was deemed intelligent and ‘well made’ if a little on the ugly side, was selected and aged 17, married George by proxy, setting off for England soon afterwards. Given the family’s history, she must have been relieved to find in George a kindly and placid, if somewhat obstinate, partner. They were as close to a perfect match as is possible to imagine and they produced 15 adored children, all but two surviving to adulthood. Seismic political events such as the French and American revolutions left their mark, but it was the antics of their eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, and the mental illness of the King that added steel to Charlotte’s core. In sharp contrast, was the eccentric Caroline of Brunswick, who married her first cousin the Prince of Wales. She was famously dishevelled, somewhat smelly and given to vulgarities. Even as a young teenager, she loved to shock – she once so successfully convinced her alarmed attendants that she was in labour that a midwife was sent for – but she was also kind, compassionate and generous. The marriage in 1795 with George, whom she had never met, was a disaster from the start. He was reluctant, having already been illegally married to the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert, but he was also desperate for cash to settle his crippling debts, and marrying was the only option. They managed to stay in the same household for no more than a few weeks, during which Princess Charlotte was conceived. Later, Caroline, who was granted only restricted access to her daughter, wandered Europe, attracting rumour and gossip wherever she went, and in 1820, three years after Princess Charlotte’s tragic death in childbirth, found herself the target of George’s vindictive ‘Delicate Investigation’, a little disguised and ultimately failed attempt to bring about a form of divorce. In 1821 George famously refused her entry to his coronation at Westminster Abbey but such was George’s unpopularity with the masses that in Caroline they identified a symbol of their own rebellious inclinations. As with her previous works, Life in the Georgian Court and Kings of Georgian Britain and in her blog A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life, Catherine Curzon uses her lively and chatty style to relate the lives of these four contrasting women. Curzon paints vivid pictures of the world they inhabited and keeps the narrative trotting along by breaking the chapters up into short sections while retaining a wealth of detail. This is an entertaining, readable and enjoyable book, suitable for both history lovers and the general reader.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christina Scotton

    Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon is a book that history enthusiasts will love. Those who do not wholeheartedly embrace history should also enjoy this book, in part because of the writing style and the format of the book itself. I’m a Medievalist at heart, but Georgian Britain is an era I enjoy studying, and it’s difficult to find books on this subject at bookstores in the US! As a result, I was thrilled when presented with the opportunity to read Queens of Georgian Britain. I have n Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon is a book that history enthusiasts will love. Those who do not wholeheartedly embrace history should also enjoy this book, in part because of the writing style and the format of the book itself. I’m a Medievalist at heart, but Georgian Britain is an era I enjoy studying, and it’s difficult to find books on this subject at bookstores in the US! As a result, I was thrilled when presented with the opportunity to read Queens of Georgian Britain. I have never read any of her previous works and found Ms. Curzon’s writing engrossing even though it is more informal than most non-fiction books I’ve read. This is no boring history textbook! Instead, it’s an easy to read book that focuses on the four wives of King Georges II, III, and IV of Great Britain. However, I do suggest that if you are not familiar with the historical figures present in the book, you have Wikipedia page available because the book covers over a century of history and some of the names are similar. It can be difficult to follow who belongs to which country and which child belongs to which set of parents, as the sections aren’t completely in chronological order. The political machinations that take place in each queen’s life—some as a direct result of interference from more powerful family—is a fascinating insight into the schemes that shaped Great Britain and some of Europe over this time period. It’s amazing what people with power will do to keep it! Though I can’t empathize with a lot of it—as I am neither royalty or nobility and will definitely not have an arranged marriage—I can understand the feelings of hope, disappointment, and anger these women feel as their lives move in directions they didn’t always anticipate. I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to those interested in learning more about Sophia Dorothea of Celle, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Caroline of Brunswick, their Georges, and Georgian Britain. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Pen and Sword Publishing through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.**

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauralee

    We have heard about the mad king George III and his son George IV. However, we tend to forget the queens who reigned alongside them. Thus, Mrs. Curzon gives us a biography of the four queens during the Hanoverian reign, starting with Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the wife of George I and the princess who never made it to the throne. Mrs. Curzon shows that each of these queens faced many challenges and were strong women in their own right. While reading these short biographies, I was fascinated and s We have heard about the mad king George III and his son George IV. However, we tend to forget the queens who reigned alongside them. Thus, Mrs. Curzon gives us a biography of the four queens during the Hanoverian reign, starting with Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the wife of George I and the princess who never made it to the throne. Mrs. Curzon shows that each of these queens faced many challenges and were strong women in their own right. While reading these short biographies, I was fascinated and sympathetic to these women. Most of them went through many hardships, and I was astounded how they dealt with them. For instance, Sophia Dorothea of Celle spent most of her life under house arrest. Caroline of Ansbach had to endure her husband George II’s mistresses. Charlotte had to endure George III’s madness. She was so afraid of being alone with him that she always insisted her daughters accompany her. Caroline of Brunswick had to endure George IV putting her on public trial for adultery so that he could divorce her. Therefore, my heart broke for these women as I learned of their unhappy stories. Even though these women were dazzled by the glittering prospect of becoming queen, their lives were not as shimmering as they hoped. They realized the crown was merely an illusion. In fact, Caroline of Brunswick deeply regretted marrying George IV. Overall, this was a very sympathetic look at each Hanoverian queen. The biographies are short, but very detailed. The writing was very witty, engaging, and insightful. I did not know anything about the Georgian queens. However, it deepened my interest, and I’m curious to learn more about them. This book is recommended to novices like me who do not know much about the era. Thus, if you have never heard of the queens, I suggest you have a cup of tea and get lost in reading about these extraordinary women. I bet that you will also be astounded by their stories as I was. Queens of Georgian Britain proves that these queens should never be forgotten. (Note: I read an ARC copy of this book in courtesy of Netgalley.)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Back in January I reviewed “Kings of Georgian Britain” by this author and now it’s time to talk about the Queens. This book is organized chronologically with four section, each describing the life and relationships of the queens. Act I starts with Sophia Dorothea, then we Queen Caroline, Queen Charlotte and another Queen Caroline to end the Georgian era. Each of these women have unique stories that the author narrates expertly. The reader has a chance to become familiar with their personalities, Back in January I reviewed “Kings of Georgian Britain” by this author and now it’s time to talk about the Queens. This book is organized chronologically with four section, each describing the life and relationships of the queens. Act I starts with Sophia Dorothea, then we Queen Caroline, Queen Charlotte and another Queen Caroline to end the Georgian era. Each of these women have unique stories that the author narrates expertly. The reader has a chance to become familiar with their personalities, their strengths and their weaknesses. Some of them were loved, while others were despised and rejected. Sophia’s story is one of disappointment and heartache, while the other 3 enjoyed great popularity, at least with the people if not their husbands. One thing is very clear and that is that you can’t pigeonhole these women, they are complex and intriguing. Having now read a second book by this author, she has become a favorite. The writing style is clear and engaging. There is no heaviness and she uses lots of subsections which I like because sometimes you only have 5 or 10 minutes to read. It seems clear to me that she really enjoys her subject and has done copious amounts of research. After reading this book, I would say that these women have become real people in my mind, not just pictures in a history text. I highly recommend both this book and the companion book about the kings if you want to get a better understanding of the period of the Georgians. Well done!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jillianne Hamilton

    This book was sent to me by Pen and Sword Books in exchange for an honest review. Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon ticks several significant boxes for me: Georgian/English history, queens and a book containing several biographies of fascinating women. I was also drawn to this book because I live in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of George III. (She’s the lady on the cover.) Although the biographies of Charlotte of Mecklenburg This book was sent to me by Pen and Sword Books in exchange for an honest review. Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon ticks several significant boxes for me: Georgian/English history, queens and a book containing several biographies of fascinating women. I was also drawn to this book because I live in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of George III. (She’s the lady on the cover.) Although the biographies of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick were the most exciting of the four, the whole book is a lively deep dive into the lives of four women regularly overshadowed by their husbands. Curzon is a captivating writing and this book is an impressive addition to her existing Georgian books. Books that contain biographies of several people in one book are one of my favorite things to read because you get a titillating taste of the exciting life they lived, but only the best written of these books makes you want to pick up another book and read further into their lives. This book easily accomplishes that.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Swafford

    The Georgian era of Britain lasted for several generations, and for each King George there was a queen, either wanted or unwanted, by his side. What I especially loved about this nonfiction work was the lighthearted tone in which it was written. An abundance of information is given about each queen (or in one case, one who might have been queen) but it isn't done in a dry, overwhelming way. Each queen is given her own section. We learn of her childhood, the politics of her day, whether she had an The Georgian era of Britain lasted for several generations, and for each King George there was a queen, either wanted or unwanted, by his side. What I especially loved about this nonfiction work was the lighthearted tone in which it was written. An abundance of information is given about each queen (or in one case, one who might have been queen) but it isn't done in a dry, overwhelming way. Each queen is given her own section. We learn of her childhood, the politics of her day, whether she had an impact on her world or not, and how she bowed out to the queen to come before her. This is a fantastic resource that I would read again and again, and still learn something new! I received a gift copy through NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Dee

    This chatty biography of the wives of the Georgian kings of Britain will appeal to the reader interested in an intimate glimpse into these women’s personal lives. A sort of “Vasari’s lives” of the queens, each chapter is relatively short (which frankly helps to keep track of which George, Sophia or Caroline is contemporary!) From the bed chamber to the council chamber, from Hanover to Italy and back to England, Curzon gives as a close-in view of the queens, their families and the courtiers who s This chatty biography of the wives of the Georgian kings of Britain will appeal to the reader interested in an intimate glimpse into these women’s personal lives. A sort of “Vasari’s lives” of the queens, each chapter is relatively short (which frankly helps to keep track of which George, Sophia or Caroline is contemporary!) From the bed chamber to the council chamber, from Hanover to Italy and back to England, Curzon gives as a close-in view of the queens, their families and the courtiers who surrounded them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm10001

    The author has a lovely, easy, writing style. In terms of learning anything new, I would describe it as being aimed at people with little or no knowledge of the period. If you know a reasonable amount about the monarchy of Georgian Britain then don't expect too much from it, a lot of it is a re-telling of known stories. The author has a lovely, easy, writing style. In terms of learning anything new, I would describe it as being aimed at people with little or no knowledge of the period. If you know a reasonable amount about the monarchy of Georgian Britain then don't expect too much from it, a lot of it is a re-telling of known stories.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Polly Krize

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this historical nonfiction look at Georgian Britain. In my experience, I have not found a lot of literature about this field, and the consorts of the Georges. Not dry at all, and I will probably return to this book again in the future.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This book is an informative and engaging romp through the lives of the wives of the four King Georges of the UK. I didn't know much about these women aside from Queen Charlotte, so it was a great read. The author painted quite the picture of the Georgian period and I enjoyed learning about it. This book is an informative and engaging romp through the lives of the wives of the four King Georges of the UK. I didn't know much about these women aside from Queen Charlotte, so it was a great read. The author painted quite the picture of the Georgian period and I enjoyed learning about it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Larissa Merecci

    It's an excellent reading. Well documented, the writing is very comprehensive and it also presents a good view of the royal characters reasonably so. I for one who knew little of these British Queens of the period, think a good deal of knowledge had been acquired after the reading. It's an excellent reading. Well documented, the writing is very comprehensive and it also presents a good view of the royal characters reasonably so. I for one who knew little of these British Queens of the period, think a good deal of knowledge had been acquired after the reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Obernuefemann

    Enjoyable read. I just wanted more information in a couple spots, like with the royal couple Frederick and Augusta. And more on the children who were not the heirs.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Therese

    $1.99

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    3.5 stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carole

  25. 4 out of 5

    mingnihaha

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

  27. 4 out of 5

    barbara a waring

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  29. 4 out of 5

    AS

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lil's Vintage World

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