Distributed for British Library
King George III, who reigned in Britain from 1760 to 1820, is perhaps best remembered today for being the monarch who lost the American Colonies and for his own uncertain sanity. Attacked by his political opponents as a "tyrant," opposition politicians at the time and Whig historians subsequently portrayed him as seeking to undermine the British constitution by enlarging the power of the Crown. Over the last decades, however, historians have looked again at his life and reign. What has emerged is an altogether more sympathetic portrait.
George III was far from being the intellectual mediocrity of legend. He was interested in, and an active supporter of, the latest advances in science. A voracious buyer of books, his collection was in due course to double the size of the national library. His death produced a national outpouring of grief that has rarely been equalled until modern times. This study seeks the truth about this most controversial of rulers, while giving an account of the King's personal and political life and seeking to place it in its social, constitutional, and international context.