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Courtiers: The Secret History of the Georgian Court by [Worsley, Lucy]
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Courtiers: The Secret History of the Georgian Court Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'A stylish courtier's-eye view of the reigns of George I and George II ... reveals the complexity, anxiety and pathos behind the facade of those caught up in the golden circle of the Court.' --Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year

'We have a fine modern historian to guide us through the dreamlike maze of palace life.' --The Times

'Taking the sixteen courtiers represented in William Kent's Grand Staircase painting, Worsley herds them through the glittering confusion of the court so vividly that one can hear them scheming.' --Independent on Sunday Books of the Year

'We have a fine modern historian to guide us through the dreamlike maze of palace life.' --The Times

'Taking the sixteen courtiers represented in William Kent's Grand Staircase painting, Worsley herds them through the glittering confusion of the court so vividly that one can hear them scheming.' --Independent on Sunday Books of the Year

'Those who attended court have typically been painted as sycophants seeking to improve their station, but here a more nuanced picture emerges ... there are also detailed portraits of court life, and some compelling characters.' --Sunday Business Post

'Taking the sixteen courtiers represented in William Kent's Grand Staircase painting, Worsley herds them through the glittering confusion of the court so vividly that one can hear them scheming.' --Independent on Sunday Books of the Year

'A vivid portrait of courtly politicking.' --The Times

'Rich, amusing gaze at the courts of George I and II ... because it engages immediately with its small and large plots and its wonderful characterisation, the work, though strictly history, reads as a novel ...but this is no giddy read. At the end you're left with a sympathetic and informed sense of the transition from Stuart to Hanoverian public life.' --Irish Times

'Taking the sixteen courtiers represented in William Kent's Grand Staircase painting, Worsley herds them through the glittering confusion of the court so vividly that one can hear them scheming.' --Independent on Sunday Books of the Year

'A sparkling compendium of Georgian gossip.' --Independent

'Taking the sixteen courtiers represented in William Kent's Grand Staircase painting, Worsley herds them through the glittering confusion of the court so vividly that one can hear them scheming.' --Independent on Sunday Books of the Year

Book Description

An eye-opening portrait of an enthralling group of royal servants, Courtiers by Lucy Worsley throws new light on the dramatic life of George II and Queen Caroline and their court at Kensington Palace.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8224 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WMUA8O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very very very good book! Read it in one rainy Sunday from cover to cover (devoured every page, including the Bibliography).

Thoroughly recommended. A great general interest read for anyone with any level of prior knowledge in the Eighteenth century Court and George I and George II's family life. The famous and the unknown people in this world are brought to life in these beautifully written chapters. Very readable - very interesting - very worthwhile!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first came across the author lucy Worsley on tv on a number of programs. It is nice to see her clear way of talking is reflected in her book. Lots of information on this offer over looked time in history. She brings history alive. Would recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
The scene: Kensington Place in the early eighteenth century. The main characters are a disparate and motley bunch: Prince George Augustus(later to become George the Second), his wife, the "fat, funny and adorable" Princess Caroline and Henrietta Howard the mistress Prince George thought due to his position rather than his desire. Then there is the ubiquitous Lord Hervey, Peter the Wild Boy and Mustafa and Mohammed George's Turkish servants. One of Mohammed's duties was to treat George's haemorrhoids while Mustapha dealt with his laxatives.

The wide-ranging supporting cast is as full as the whole court itself and features such characters as the enchanting Molly Lepel who was rather too fond of the bottle and the unloved heir to the throne Prince Frederick.

Concentrating on the lives of the main characters the book ranges widely throughout the life of George the Second as both prince and king and paints a vivid portrait of the preoccupations of court life: an endless round of back-biting, place-seeking, scandal political and sexual, strict attention to etiquette and endless games of cards to kill time.

Nothing is gone into very deeply but it is a highly enjoyable and engaging romp through the largely overlooked period of the reigns of the first two Georges. It left me wanting to know much more, especially about Caroline, acknowledged to be "the cleverest queen consort ever to sit on the throne".

Frothy as the lace ruffles on the court ladies gowns, this is a highly addictive read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Felt like old fashion history as I have read similar books in the 1970s revolving around Queen Victoria's court but in the end this did not distract from the fact that it was well written and deeply interesting. Dealing with the times of George 1st and George 2nd it concentrates on the personnalities of the court to bring this period alive. However I do not think that the book really brought out just how political the court still was [for instance the 'The Garter Crises' involving Earl Temple and nearly brought down a government is only obliquely mentioned]. But I do agree with the other reviewers that it is 'very readable - very interesting - very worthwhile! And that the peiople 'come alive as Worsely has creatively depicted their intriguing lives.'.

The Kindle edition I read was a model of its kind with links to the notes, a full, and again linked, index and a good bibliography. The plates at the end came out surprissingly well. However it also showed up the Kindle's limitations in that it was impossible to read the family tree at the beginnning even when using the zoom.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I so enjoyed this book. It really brought to life those two enigmatic Kings of Britain, George I and George II. The court is described in all its claustrophobic splendour, where cleverness is not always rewarded. Queen Caroline plays a pivotal part here, partly clever and charming, and partly heartless and unforgiving. Family quarrels and feuds are central to this royal family.
The Courtiers of the title are many and varied, each fascinating in their own way.
I would really recommend this book. It is very well written and accessible, as well as informative and written by an expert in the subject.
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By Isobel Henry-Rufus TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book. Lucy Worsley has written an account of the courts of the Hanoverian Georges by highlighting a few of the people who lived and worked there. She starts the book by talking about the Grand Staircase at Kensington Palace which has a painting of forty-five of the court servants apparently looking at us over the banisters. There was a huge, and well documented, battle between the old guard of the artistic establishment, as personified by John Thornhill, Hogarth's father-in-law, and William Kent one of the new Italianates. This account sets the tone of the book.

Through letters and diaries, gossip and rumour, the picture of court life is built up in a most enjoyable way. Lucy Worsley writes with a light and amusing touch, so that even though we are absorbing a lot of information, it is highly entertaining. In addition to the royal family, we meet many of the great names of the eighteenth century (who, to me, were just the dry old sticks of history lessons) - Sir Robert Walpole, Lord Chesterfield, Pope and Gay to mention just a few, and we meet them through their own words and what other people (often bitchily) said about them.

There are lots of pictures within the text and a glorious colour section in the middle. Of course, not everyone mentioned can be pictured in the book, so I have spent a happy afternoon googling characters to see what they looked like. The book is well indexed and referenced so you are well prepared for further research.
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