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Prince of Pleasure: The Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency

Described by the Duke of Wellington as 'the most extraordinary compound of talent, wit, buffoonery, obstinacy and good feeling that I ever saw in one character in my life', George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales, later George IV, was a highly controversial figure. He courted both Whigs and Tories in his attempts to establish the Regency during the 'madness' of his father, George III. Scandalous liaisons with prostitutes and duchesses, and his 'secret' marriage to the Catholic Mrs Fitzherbert, tested his duty - to nation and to family. Yet his support for overseas campaigns against Napoleon, culminating in such historic victories as Trafalgar and Waterloo, consolidated Britain's status as the pre-eminent world power amid the great social and economic upheavals of the Industrial Revolution. Drawing on a wealth of original accounts of life in Georgian Britain, Saul David has created a masterly portrait - of a flamboyant, opportunistic and influential figure, and of a nation in a time of great change.

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Reviews of Prince of Pleasure: The Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency

"I do not think there is a better one-volume account of this rogue prince. The author knows his stuff, weaves his way deftly through the politicking of the era without making it boring, and splendidly brings to life the endless amours of the man with a long succession of mistresses."

Roy Strong, Country Life

"David is extremely good at interweaving the different stands of his narrative. He has an eye for the apt quotation and the telling anecdoate… He is a historian of enormous promise who might one day become the Hibbert of the next generation."

Amanda Foreman, Sunday Times

"Lively and lucid… David has insight, scholarly understanding and flashes of wit worthy of the Regency satirists themselves."

Jenny Uglow, TLS