Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III

Princesses The Six Daughters of George III From acclaimed biographer Flora Fraser a brilliant group biography of the six daughters of Mad King George III Fraser takes us into the heart of the British royal family during the tumultuous period

  • Title: Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III
  • Author: Flora Fraser
  • ISBN: 9780679451181
  • Page: 348
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From acclaimed biographer Flora Fraser, a brilliant group biography of the six daughters of Mad King George III Fraser takes us into the heart of the British royal family during the tumultuous period of the American and French revolutions and beyond, illuminating the complicated lives of these exceptional women Princess Royal, the eldest, constantly at odds with her moFrom acclaimed biographer Flora Fraser, a brilliant group biography of the six daughters of Mad King George III Fraser takes us into the heart of the British royal family during the tumultuous period of the American and French revolutions and beyond, illuminating the complicated lives of these exceptional women Princess Royal, the eldest, constantly at odds with her mother home loving, family minded Augusta plump Elizabeth, a gifted amateur artist Mary, the bland beauty of the family Sophia, emotional and prone to take refuge in illness and Amelia, the most turbulent and tempestuous of all the Princesses Weaving together letters and historical accounts, Fraser re creates their world in all its frustrations and excitements.The six sisters, though handsome, accomplished and extremely well educated, were kept from marrying by George III, and Fraser describes how they remained subject to their father for many years, while he teetered on the brink of mental collapse The King may have believed that his six daughters were happy to live celibately at Windsor, but secretly, as Fraser s absorbing narrative of royal repression and sexual license shows, the sisters enjoyed startling freedom Several of them, torn between love for their ailing father and longing for independence, forged their own scandalous and subversive lives within the castle walls With a discerning eye for psychological detail and a keen feminist sensibility, Fraser delves into these clandestine love affairs, revealing the truth about Sophia s illegitimate baby examining Amelia s intimate correspondence with her soldier lover and investigating the eventual marriages of Princesses Royal, Elizabeth and Mary Never before has the historical searchlight been turned with such sympathy and acuity on George III and his family With unparalleled access to royal and private family papers, Flora Fraser has created a revelatory portrait of six fascinating women and their place in history.

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    1 thought on “Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III”

    1. On my biographical journey, I have come across a number of interesting characters, as many who have been following my reviews will surely know. Those who have made their mark on history are of particular interest, as it allows me to delve into curious parts of their past and determine how their choices eventually helped shape the world in which I live today. While many will know some rudimentary events surrounding George III (both fact and fiction), Flora Fraser seeks not only to shed some light [...]

    2. 3.5 Stars.Good, but I think the author came to conclusions and made statements that she couldn't back up with factual evidence. You can say whatever you like about someone's character or actions, but it should be backed up with actual historical sources.

    3. what an interesting biography. the blurb the cover exaggerates a bit though - i would not quite describe it as full of scandal, sex and illegitimate children. there are chapters on the basics - like growing up and in the end it chronicles the last weeks of the last surviving sisters married, widowed or single. it does give a really intense and interesting insight into the lives of privileged women. i am still touched by the idea that the king was so very glad to finally have a daughter with his [...]

    4. "Princesses" is about the 6 daughters of George III, and by extension their 9 brothers, and of course Fat George himself, and his wife (who does little, being pregnant constantly). Lots to love there, no? But OMG! I read a lot of non fiction, and I am a history buff, but the writing is SO tedious I can hardly stay awake. It's by Flora Frasier, and I recall having had the same problem a while back trying to read her mother Antonia's bio of Charles II The (not so) Merry Monarch, eventually just gi [...]

    5. I was drawn to Princesses because I am trying to read more non-fiction, and because, as a I have discussed before, I love to read biographies of snooty aristocratic families, particularly families of sisters. This is the ultimately family of sisters - the six daughters of George III of England, of madness/American Revolution fame. It is an inherently interesting story to read about how these six women lived, in such times, with such a family. Furthermore, the book is ridden with scandal! The pri [...]

    6. Six little princesses grow up in a succession of big houses with their affectionate but crazy father, repressed & angry mom, & a houseful of brothers who range from the effeminate Prince of Wales to serial rapist Ernest. I totally have to write a novel about this group! Crazy dad (George III) loves his daughters so much he doesn’t want them to grow up, get married & leave home – no one is good enough for them. So they sit at home with their sewing, their books, their drawing & [...]

    7. I was hugely disappointed by this biography, which should have been wonderful, considering Flora Fraser's literary lineage, but wasn't, for various reasons. Her approach to writing this biography chronicling the lives of the six daughters of George III was exhaustive, meticulous and detailed, but left me wondering why I was even bothering to finish the book. Fraser quotes almost exclusively from the seemingly endless collection of archived correspondence between the princesses, but what results [...]

    8. So many princesses, so many princes, so many marriages, affairs, children, illegitimate or otherwise my advice? Photocopy the family tree at the front and take notes! Geeky, yes, but oh so helpful! Whatever you do, don't give up on it. It can be quite complicated with people having the same name or title and because it's quite fastpaced as there's so much to fit in, it can move quite quickly. However, the lives of these six sisters and their brothers makes for excellent reading. No daughter gets [...]

    9. I enjoyed this book. It was unusual to read a book about royalty not focused on the heirs to the throne, but rather on the more behind the scenes characters, and the six daughter of "Mad" King George were indeed that. The book is based almost solely on information from letters, and it amazed me how many letters people wrote in the late 1700s and early 1800s! I wonder how anyone will be able to recreate lives now. Who has a box of emails lying around?The book did have a very English feel to it. E [...]

    10. I'm quite surprised to see some reviews on here saying the prose was tedious - I couldn't put it down! I read Princesses with as much urgency as a novel, I was so intrigued to find out what happened to the sisters next. Fraser makes years and years of research seem effortless and gives great insights into the many members of this large family. It is to her credit that I didn't get confused between the fifteen children or their many cousins once. I loved this book so much I was inspired to write [...]

    11. Really illuminates the origins of what we call "victorian" customs. I could have used a bit more of the social history - what they ate, wore, etc. but that's just my taste. It was a bit long, too, and since they did so much art, decorating, etc, a few examples would have been nice. The plates included are quite lovely, though. Wonder whether George III could have changed the course of European History by marrying the six off well and early, and doing a better job educating/occupying/marrying the [...]

    12. Raccontare la vita di ben sei principesse, dalla nascita alla morte, si rivela un compito quanto mai arduo, se non altro per la gran quantità di materiale da gestire. Oltre alle vicende delle sei figlie di Giorgio III, assistiamo per forza anche a quella delle loro dame di compagnia, del Re, della regina Caroline, degli altri sette principi reali e delle loro consorti, di almeno una decina tra cugini e nipoti, alle travagliate vicende matrimoniali del Reggente, uno scorcio delle guerre napoleon [...]

    13. The scholarship is excellent and, aside from a weakness for convoluted syntax, Fraser is an articulate writer. However, I was ultimately disappointed that she didn't shape the material into a more interesting story-- or six interesting stories. The detail about the daily lives of the princesses as children created charming if not exactly compelling scenes. But ultimately the little girls became adult women who were essentially trapped in a gilded cage by their father's madness, conflicts within [...]

    14. I thoroughly enjoyed the social history of the royal family of George III, possibly because his control over his daughters was so overarching in all aspects of their lives to the extent that he would not allow any to marry. Great detail on all the daughters lives and a fantastic precursor to why Victoria actually made it to the throne, due in part to his sons leaving it far too late to produce any legitimate children. I found this a page turner!

    15. I wanted to like this book as I was curious how the 18th c. English nobility treated women. Not well, as it turns out, at least if you dad was George III: these six women led very limited lives due to the King's inability to let them go and the Queen's unwillingness to override his wishes. The book was frustatingly slow simply because much if it was about the princesses' largely homebound lives.

    16. Well researched. King George the third had 7 sons and 6 daughter. Only 3 daughter ever married and very late in life. One daughter had an illigitmate child that she had to give away. All in all I felt very sorry for all of his children not just the daughters.

    17. Not a bad book - I just didn't find these sisters that interesting so it took me a long time to finish it.

    18. I found this book fascinating. I knew very little about the family of King George III and Queen Charlotte, and this book about their daughters filled a gaping hole in my royal knowledge. While it is focused on the six daughters of George III, there is also enough information about the nine sons of George III to gather a basic portrait of them as well. I found myself drawn in particular to the fact that George III refused to arrange dynastic marriages for his daughters, the only one being that of [...]

    19. I was intensely immersed in Flora Fraser's impressive, high calibre tome. Historical royal biography is an addictive genre that leaves its readers ever hungry for something to top their favourites. This is a difficult call on authors. There are only limited options without repeating what others before have done brilliantly.This author's notary mother, Lady Antonia Fraser, is an impossible act to follow. Think of most talented daughters living in their famous mothers' shadows and this syndrome be [...]

    20. Thorough, fascinating multiple biography of the six daughters of George III. They were all distinct individuals, but kept their close relationship all their lives by writing copious letters to each other. Only Charlotte, the Princess Royal, (she was never called by her name, but always "Royal") was permitted to marry while her parents were alive. There was a dearth of suitable European princes - non-Catholics and of good morals - and the King and Queen were protective and picky. Some of the Prin [...]

    21. I really hate to give one star for a book that was obviously very well researched. Maybe it's my own fault for disliking this book. I should know by now that if you want to really read about the lives of any past British royal, and the foreword thanks the Queen of England, pass. The author is going to skim over everything you really want to know. The first half of the book could be called 'boring letters bored toddlers wrote their mother' and the second half should be titled 'things that wouldn' [...]

    22. Actually 4.5 on a scale of 5. The color illustrations are well-reproduced and sufficient in number. The writing is very clear particularly about political matters and the book is liberally illustrated in many quotes.I feel pity for the princesses. The portraits in the book of their youth show poised, pretty young women, well-educated for elite women of the age. Unfortunately the marital experiences of their father's sister and aunt resulted in his adamant disinclination to arrange marriages for [...]

    23. A big book and not a doodle. Flora Fraser has a lot of information by way of diaries and letters and six subjects to cover. In the beginning it was difficult to make out different personalities with so many vying for attention but the eldest, Charlotte, the Princess Royal (known by the family as 'Royal') was a real tartar from the beginning. It was good to check Google to see how they all turned out as I went along. I got a vivid picture of the very insular family of King George the third and hi [...]

    24. This a non-fiction book about the six daughters of King George III. Being the "villain" in the American Revolution and known primarily for his "madness" is only part of the story. I did not realize that he was quite the family man and preferred a quiet life to the pomp and glory of majesty. His disease did have a negative impact on these girls. Wanting what was best for them, hesitant to send them from home to foreign lands, and then unable to make decisions as he sickened, he kept them from hom [...]

    25. This book gives an interesting look into the surprising lives of the daughters of George III. Relying heavily on correspondence between the princesses and their brothers, parents, friends and each other, Fraser allows each woman's personality to reveal itself, which is the best accomplishment of the book. The letters, which begin in childhood, are often incredibly honest and offer great insight into their lives and contemporary events. Fraser, as many historians do, refers to all 15 children int [...]

    26. Ho hum on & on & on & on about everything surrounding the Princesses in minute detail. So much so, I gave up, because I don't care that one of the Nannies was a drunk, they really were not allowed to eat much meat, the King's brother married a Whig "Commoner" Needless to say I was very put off.Also the writing style and tone was as if the author was writing back in the 18th Century, very affected.I wanted to know about them, and I just didn't have the patience to wade through the his [...]

    27. I thought it would be really interesting reading about some of the royalty that no one else has really written about. WRONG! There's a reason these princesses weren't written about before, and that's because their lives were dreadfully, awfully boring. They really didn't ever do anything more than just exist. It wasn't all their fault, obviously; there just wasn't much to write about. I also didn't care for Fraser's writing style. It felt to me as though she couldn't write a complete sentence wi [...]

    28. This book is a history of the six daughters of King George III, who were the aunts of Queen Victoria. Histories typically focus on those who succeed to the monarchy, and rarely concentrate on the stories of the women of the family. George III and his wife had 15 children, six of whom were girls. This is a full and rich history of these women, who struggled to have lives and families of their own, and were often used as pawns in royalty games. Through family correspondence and the skillful writin [...]

    29. If you want the details on what dress the Princess Royal wore to George IV's 8th birthday, this is the book for you. Otherwise, there's not a good narrative to hold you until George III goes mad. It picks up there when you get to see the princesses' view of their father's illness. The book name checks a lot without giving you the background of who they are talking about. I hated the assumptions the author made about her audience. Not everyone knows the genealogy of the British royal family by he [...]

    30. I've had many people recommend this book to me over the years, saying that it was a good look at how princesses lived in more recent centuries as opposed to medieval royalty. That's true, but by the time I was half-way through it, I was bored out of my mind. George III was quite mad, Queen Charlotte was bitter because of her husband's madness, Princess Amelia was dead, and the Princess Royal was the only other daughter who had managed to escape the limbo the daughters' were living in. At that po [...]

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