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Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon: a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities (picture the preening, spitting, and pompous version in Hamilton). But in 2017, the Queen of England put 200,000 pages of the Georgian kings’ private papers online, about half of which related to George III, and these papers have forced a full-scale reinterpretation of the king’s life and reign.

Today’s guest is Andrew Roberts, author of “The Last King of America.” He had unprecedented access to these archives. The result is the first biography of King George III in fifty years. We discuss how George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck.

Above all, we see a much more nuanced picture than the villain of the American Revolution but rather a monarch who created the modern notion of royalty, a powerful leader who carries the weight of noblesse oblige and works for the betterment of his subjects, not throwing around the powers of divine right.
Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon: a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities (picture the preening, spitting, and pompous version in Hamilton). But in 2017, the Queen of England put 200,000 pages of the Georgian kings’ private papers online, about half of which related to George III, and these papers have forced a full-scale reinterpretation of the king’s life and reign. Today’s guest is Andrew Roberts, author of “The Last King of America.” He had unprecedented access to these archives. The result is the first biography of King George III in fifty years. We discuss how George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck. Above all, we see a much more nuanced picture than the villain of the American Revolution but rather a monarch who created the modern notion of royalty, a powerful leader who carries the weight of noblesse oblige and works for the betterment of his subjects, not throwing around the powers of divine right. read more read less

2 years ago