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Queen of Bedlam (Georgian Queens) Paperback – 10 Jun 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Myrmidon Books Ltd (10 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910183016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910183014
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

""Queen of Bedlam" is a masterfully written and well-researched novel written by someone who has truly mastered the craft of evoking readers' emotions." --Historical Novels Review

About the Author

Laura Purcell lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England. She met her husband working in Waterstones bookshop and they share their home with several pet guinea pigs. Laura is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Society for Court Studies and Historic Royal Palaces. She recently appeared on the PBS documentary The Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace, talking about Queen Caroline's life at Hampton Court. Laura's novels explore the lives of royal women during the Georgian era, who have largely been ignored by modern history. Her debut Queen of Bedlam was originally self-published, receiving excellent reviews as an Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction. Laura writes a history blog at www.laurapurcell.com


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The period of English history that I am least familiar with is the Regency period and all of the King Georges. I think part of my aversion is that the majority of books that I see set during this period are light, fluffy romances – of which I have fairly little use. I will admit it was primarily the title that drew me in to this novel. I have always had some amount of intrigue about the “madness of King George” and also find stories about those who tend to be on the periphery fascinating. While George III and George IV are the primary male figures in this novel, the daughters/sisters/wives receive quite the novel treatment. This is certainly not a light, fluffy romance (although there are a few romantic scenes).

Despite the rather large cast of characters, the author does a fantastic job of creating each person in their own right. In a short span of pages I could easily tell Amelia apart from Sophia and Royal (and the same goes for the men as well, although they are featured on fewer pages). It is very easy for an author to focus on just one or two characters while the rest are introduced for a few sentences and then disappear to just show up in cursory scenes – not so here. I feel that I truly got to know each of them. I think that Sophia was my favorite character – my heart just broke for her.

Another strength in this novel was how the author sets the events in England within the context of events that are occurring in other parts of the world (particularly America, France, and some of the states and duchies that would become Germany). The American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the conquest of Napoleon all occurred during the reign of George III and are all events I was familiar with and helped me to place the events within the context of the greater world.
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Format: Paperback
Queen Charlotte is determined to keep her children close. With King George III setting a law in parliament stating he has to pass any marriages the young princesses don't seem to stand a chance. Will they have their chance of marriage like their sister, Charlotte, Princess Royal, or are the aging princesses destined to be deeply unhappy spinsters helping to look after their father who is succumbing to madness?

I love reading historical books they have a certain air about them. This was a fantastic read that had clearly been well researched. I'm not a huge fan of multiple points of view, Queen Charlotte's, Charlotte, Princess Royal's and Princess Sophia's, but I found that it was very well written.

I loved and hated the characters. The Queen at the beginning is very easy to sympathise with but when she slowly allows bitterness to encase her it gets harder. Admittedly she never had the easiest of lives. She suffered greatly but she wasn't willing to let go. I loved Charlotte, Princess Royal, because although she suffered the one thing she dreaded she still managed to cling on to hope. She had all that she needed and I think eventually she realised this. I'm not sure what I make of Princess Sophia. I wanted to like her but I just couldn't connect with her.

I think the ending was the best. That sounds wrong but it was. After all that the Royals had been through they were peaceful and content. They all got what they wanted which was nice. I'm not into everything been tied up into a neat little bow but I think here it was needed. I did enjoy the part where Charlotte, Princess Royal, was losing herself but managed to bring herself back.

This is a book everybody should at least give a try, it's one that will leave you guessing and definitely wanting more. It's a page turner all right.
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Format: Paperback
This is a deeply enjoyable, fast-paced account of events in the life of Queen Charlotte, the wife of ‘Mad’ King George III of England. Young British novelist, Laura Purcell has undertaken meticulous research to transform dramatic events into a historical page turner that contains much that I found new and intriguing. The story opens with skilfully evoked memories of Charlotte’s happy early years, as a newly arrived bride from a small German province, and the unlikely love and tenderness that formed between herself and the King. The deterioration of the King’s mental health leaves his wife anxious and alone, with the kingdom on the brink of war and her ambitious but vain eldest son (later the Regent) scheming to take the throne. It is this strain laid upon a previously loving and happy family that is so well explored.
As I’m currently writing about the 1790s myself, it was fascinating to learn about the royal milieu and its stifling atmosphere. I have long been fascinated by the jewel-encrusted hooped court dresses of the day, but discovered that these were but a small part of the mental and physical constriction that the couples’ six daughters had placed upon them. Turning the archetype of glamourous princesses upside down, we see the them blighted by their beloved father’s madness. Purcell cleverly selects two of these princesses as her focus, the eldest Princess Royal, who longs for marriage and children, and Sophia, a sickly romantic.
Moving between the perspectives of Queen Charlotte, Royal and Sophia, the novel gallops along, depicting the strain of lives lived beneath a rigid and tedious regime. We see the Queen ‘botanising’ at Kew, the girls horse-riding at Windsor, lining up for parades and dreading lengthy and tedious concerts.
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