In the dying years of the 18th century, the corridors of Windsor echoed to the footsteps of six princesses. They were Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia, the daughters of King George III and Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though more than fifteen years divided the births of the eldest sister from the youngest, these princesses all shared a longing for escape. Faced with their father’s illness and their mother’s dominance, for all but one a life away from the seclusion of the royal household seemed like an unobtainable dream.
The six daughters of George III were raised to be young ladies and each in her time was one of the most eligible women in the world. Tutored in the arts of royal womanhood, they were trained from infancy in the skills vial to a regal wife but as the king’s illness ravaged him, husbands and opportunities slipped away.
Yet even in isolation, the lives of the princesses were filled with incident. From secret romances to dashing equerries, rumors of pregnancy, clandestine marriage and even a run-in with Napoleon, each princess was the leading lady in her own story, whether tragic or inspirational. In The Royal Nunnery: Daughters of George III, take a wander through the hallways of the royal palaces, where the king’s endless ravings echo deep into the night and his daughters strive to be recognized not just as princesses, but as women too.
This is my first time picking up a through-and-through historical non-fiction and on a subject I’ve had no previous interest in, no less! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.
I worried that this was going to be factually very heavy, and so maybe not the easiest book to read, but straight away I could see that wasn’t going to be the case. Curzon has a colloquial style of writing that made the book really easy to follow and understand.
This one was a great deep dive look into the lives of George III’s daughters. While all their lives remained reasonably similar, it was nice to learn about the quirks in each of their personalities and the hobbies they enjoyed that made them all different. As the chapters went by, it was interesting to see the differing journeys their lives took, from marriage to secret love affairs to tragic illnesses diagnosed young.
In learning about the daughters, you also get some background on the King and Queen of England at the time too. I would be really interested in reading more about George III himself as he seemed to lead an intriguing life that deteriorated far too soon from a tragic illness.
I’m glad to have read this one and I’ve learned something new too! I read this one in the space of a day, so, for me, a very quick read that kept me entertained. Definitely recommended for history lovers.
(Thank you Pen and Sword Books who gifted me this in exchange for an honest review)
Edition Published: 2020
Genre: History, Nonfiction
Goodreads Av. Rating: 3.85