George III: The Life and Reign of Britain's Most Misunderstood Monarch
George III, Britain's longest-reigning king, has gone down in history as 'the cruellest tyrant of this age' (Thomas Paine, 18th century), 'a sovereign who inflicted more profound and enduring injuries upon this country than any other modern English king' (WEH Lecky, 19th century), 'one of England's most disastrous kings' (JH Plumb, 20th century) and as the pompous, camp and sinister monarch of the musical Hamilton (21st century).
Andrew Roberts' magnificent new biography takes entirely the opposite view. It convincingly portrays George as intelligent, benevolent, scrupulously devoted to the constitution of his country and (as head of government as well as head of state) navigating the turbulence of 18th-century politics with a strong sense of honour and duty. He was a devoted husband and family man, a great patron of the arts and sciences, keen ('Farmer George') to advance Britain's agricultural capacity and determined that her horizons should be global.
The book gives a detailed, revisionist account of the American War of Independence, amongst other things persuasively taking apart a significant proportion of the Declaration of Independence. In a later war, it shows how George's support for William Pitt was crucial to the battle against Napoleon. And it makes a credible, modern diagnosis of George's terrible malady that robbed him of his mind for the last 10 years of his life - his other main claim to the popular imagination.
Roberts argues that, far from being a tyrant or incompetent, George III was one of our most admirable monarchs. George III shows one of Britain's premier historians at his sparkling best.lf-dead, the guillotine finished him off in grisly fashion the next day. The Fall of Robespierre provides an hour-by-hour analysis of these 24 hours.
Prof Andrew Roberts, who was born in 1963, took a first class honours degree in Modern History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
He is presently the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a Visiting Professor at the War Studies Department at King’s College, London, and the Lehrman Institute Lecturer at the New-York Historical Society.
He has written or edited twenty books, which have been translated into twenty-eight languages, and appears regularly on radio and television around the world. Based in London, he is an accomplished public speaker (see Speaking Engagements), and has delivered the White House Lecture, as well as speaking at Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton and Stanford Universities, and at The British Academy, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sandhurst, Shrivenham and the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.