An intensely moving account of George III's doomed attempt to create a happy, harmonious family, written with astonishing emotional force by a stunning new history writer. George III came to the throne in 1760 as a man with a mission. He wanted to be a new kind of king, one whose power was rooted in the affection and approval of his people. And he was determined to revolutionise his private life too, breaking with the extraordinarily dysfunctional home lives of his Hanoverian predecessors. He was sure that as a faithful husband and a loving father, he would be not just a happier man but a better ruler as well. During the early part of his reign it seemed as if, against all the odds, his great family project was succeeding. His wife, Queen Charlotte, shared his sense of moral purpose, and together they raised their fifteen children in a climate of loving attention. But as the children grew older, and their wishes and desires developed away from those of their father, it became harder to maintain the illusion of domestic harmony. The king's episodes of madness undermined the bedrock of their marriage; his disapproving distance from the bored and purposeless princes, especially the dissolute Prince of Wales, alienated them; and his determination to keep the princesses at home, protected from the potential horrors of the European marriage market, left them lonely, bitter and resentful. `The Strangest Family' is an epic, sprawling family drama, filled with intensely realised characters who leap off the page as we are led deep inside the private lives of the Hanoverians. Written with astonishing emotional force by a stunning new voice in history writing, it is both a window on another world and a universal story that will resonate powerfully with modern readers.
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