The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace (2020)

The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace Lucy Worsley The Courtiers Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is now most famous as the former home of Diana Princess of Wales but the palace s glory days came between and during the reigns of George I and II In the eighteenth cent
  • Title: The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace
  • Author: Lucy Worsley
  • ISBN: 9780802719874
  • Page: 273
  • Format: Hardcover
The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace Lucy Worsley Kensington Palace is now most famous as the former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, but the palace s glory days came between 1714 and 1760, during the reigns of George I and II In the eighteenth century, this palace was a world of skulduggery, intrigue, politicking, etiquette, wigs, and beauty spots, where fans whistled open like switchblades and unusual people were kepKensington Palace is now most famous as the former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, but the palace s glory days came between 1714 and 1760, during the reigns of George I and II In the eighteenth century, this palace was a world of skulduggery, intrigue, politicking, etiquette, wigs, and beauty spots, where fans whistled open like switchblades and unusual people were kept as curiosities Lucy Worsley s The Courtiers charts the trajectory of the fantastically quarrelsome Hanovers and the last great gasp of British court life Structured around the paintings of courtiers and servants that line the walls of the King s Staircase of Kensington Palace paintings you can see at the palace today The Courtiers goes behind closed doors to meet a pushy young painter, a maid of honor with a secret marriage, a vice chamberlain with many vices, a bedchamber woman with a violent husband, two aging royal mistresses, and many The result is an indelible portrait of court life leading up to the famous reign of George III , and a feast for both Anglophiles and lovers of history and royalty.
The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace Lucy Worsley

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One thought on “The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace

  1. K.J. Charles

    A domestic history of the courts of George I and II, focusing on selected wives, mistresses, children, equerries, hangers on, painters, lightly on upper servants It s very informative about the running of the court and 18th century palace life, loads of detail, exactly the sort of thing that brings history to life.I didn t actually enjoy it very much though I think it was the writing, which is reminiscent of Worsley s TV persona a huge plus if you re a fan of her presenting style, but I m not w [...]

  2. Kate

    Did you see Lucy Worsley s recent Regency series on BBC4 Did you, like me, find it disappointing in content and Worsley herself, as presenter, irritating in the extreme Well, don t let that put you off buying reading this book because it really is very good It s packed with information, some of which might even be new to the well read history fans, and is written in an engaging, knowledgeable manner that makes the words flow and transforms the book into an easy, pleasurable read.It is the oppos [...]

  3. Lady Wesley

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Heather Wilds rendition of this gossipy history lite book There are lots of quotations in the book, and Wilds did an excellent job with a variety of voices from German accented Kings to serving maids I like Lucy Worsley s breezy writing style her research is decidedly un breezy however She is the real deal But don t expect to hear much about diplomacy or wars as the title implies, this isn t that kind of history My knowledge of 18th century European history is i [...]

  4. Christine Blachford

    Lucy Worsley came to my attention after her rather excellent BBC series If Walls Could Talk She was so engaging and had a great way of sharing history in a fascinating way After another series about the regency period, I decided to have a look at her books and was glad to see this one available as an eBook.Covering the period of George I and George II at Kensington Palace, the book tells the tale of those surrounding the royal family, those that make up the hustle and bustle of court life As wel [...]

  5. Tim

    I will begin this review with an admission of bias I am an unashamed fan of Lucy Worsley Had she been my history teacher at school my life would have taken a very definite course, probably beginning with a declaration of marriage at 16 She has the knack of taking the story of the great and good and not so good and making it accessible I have always liked her delivery in her documentaries and this, the first of her written works that I have read, did not disappoint.Her examination of the Court of [...]

  6. Ruth

    This was a fascinating, and surprisingly easy read about the life of courtiers during the reigns of George I and George II It has just the right mix of detail, wider context and anecdote to make it quite fun Some of the quotes of the contemporaries are hilarious witty, bitchy and LOL funny.I m one of those people who wanders what it was actually like at Court The dresses look fabulous in portraits, but what were they like to wear Answer Incredibly uncomfortable Did they wear them all the time No [...]

  7. Margaret Sankey

    New Georgian history, by a keeper of the Royal Palaces, and with new insight into the Hanoverians by studying the palaces they built or remodeled to see how the court functioned in the physical spaces as well as included the social climbing courtiers, German hangers on, the Polish dwarf jester, the Turkish Muslim valets, the pet feral child, assorted French spies and all the flunkies from rat catchers to wig washers to translators who made an 18th century bureaucracy function I do love my squat, [...]

  8. Freda Lightfoot

    This is non fiction which reads like a racy novel I loved it We learn all about the scandal, the intrigue, politicking and affairs not only of George II and Queen Caroline of Ansbach, but the waiting women, various mistresses, a wild boy, a rather sad equerry whom Caroline took pity on, and an overly ambitious painter, among others A lively band indeed It is an absolutely delicious slice of Georgian life We learn the identities of the characters painted on the Kensington Palace Grand Staircase, [...]

  9. George Guven

    An absolute riot from start to finish Full of salacious court gossip and scandal, this reads like a juicy novel but is in fact an enlightening glance into court life in the early Georgian era Of particular interest is the exposition of the unknown courtiers that grand histories often forget Peter the Wild Boy, the vivacious Molly Lepell and so on But in exposing these shrouded figures, Worsley sheds greater light on the big players of history the kings and the queens, the princes and princesses [...]

  10. Lauren Albert

    As ever, when I read about the world of courtiers, I wonder why anyone ever fought to be part of that world How unpleasant it all was Worsley made it clear that different people were there for different reasons escaping an abusive husband, seeking power, seeking wealth It was, to use a cliche, where the action was Worsley does a very good job of making the reader understand what it was like, and not just for the royals but for the people around them high and low It is very readable almost noveli [...]

  11. Katie

    Courtiers was a wonderful non fiction book about Courtiers in the early Georgian Courts George I II Sixteen of the courtiers shown in William Kent s Grand Staircase painting are brought back to life in vivid detail It s almost like they are still alive and their plotting, cattiness and insults are as stinging then as they are now Worsley s writing style is easy to read and overall, the book reads like fiction than non fiction.

  12. Carly Bogan

    One of the best historical books I ve read Not as dry as others on British history and very interesting

  13. Wealhtheow

    Worsley tracks the people and art that populated the courts of George I and II of England She has a very easy to read style, but cites well and was able to draw upon a good number of first person sources That said, there were three things I distinctly disliked about this book One, Worsley has a completely unearned appreciation for George II and his wife Caroline Both of them seem to have been thoroughly unpleasant in several arenas, not least their treatment of their immediate family The abuse, [...]

  14. Jane

    I ll start with a confession I loathe and despise the British royal family What a bunch of no hopers First there s the queen, who gets my vote for biggest dog in the manger ever Her poor son will never sit on the throne if she can help it The result He s an emasculated dweeb with a thing for Mommy figures Then there s Phillip, who opens his mouth and drops the most astoundingly offensive remarks on a regular basis Go home soon, he said to some British students in China, or you ll develop slitty [...]

  15. Amarilli

    La vita della corte d Inghilterra dal 1717 al 1760, visto attraverso le memorie dei nobili cortigiani che attorniavano la famiglia reale un dietro le quinte degli ultimi fasti dell ancien r gime britannico.Lo sviluppo vorrebbe essere al contempo tematico e cronologico, non riuscendo sempre bene a coniugare le due cose, finendo con l essere molte volte ingarbugliato, anche se non al punto da impedire la comprensione.L unica cosa che non perdono assolutamente all autrice lo spazio dato alla descri [...]

  16. Larissa

    History from the cheap seats Very enjoyable walk thru the back stairs doors of Georgian England and most especially Kensington palace What a strange, hard and detailed existence they lived Would have enjoyed this even as an audio book.

  17. Kelcey

    I did read this and I remember being surprised by how good it was for nonfiction It was compelling and read almost like a novel A great way to get a dose of history

  18. Justine Olawsky

    Remember in Disney s Beauty and the Beast when animators imagined an enchanted castle whose court had been transformed into singing and dancing household goods Well, after reading Lucy Worsley s The Courtiers Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace, I think those magically transformed servants had it pretty good Better to be a talking wardrobe than an actual Woman of the Bedchamber, I say.This is a very readable book based upon an observation and consequent curious musin [...]

  19. Catherine

    I have just finished reading Courtiers by Lucy Worsley, here s what I thought Worsley is the chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages Hampton Court, The Tower of London, Kew Palace, Banqueting House and lastly Kensington Palace which is the main focus of the book She has also presented several BBC history documentories.The book covers the Georgian Court during the reign of the first two king George s The book is a fabulous exploration of the men and women who in fabulous [...]

  20. Ashley Catt

    A work that focuses solely on the social landscape of the Georgian Court is an extremely ambitious feat indeed Set during the reigns of George I and his son George II, prior to the decline of court life during the kingship of George III who disapproved of the excessive degree of splendour and ostentation exhibited, it deals with the humans who populated the court the courtiers themselves.A great factor that this work has in its favour is the fact that the author tends to explain historical theme [...]

  21. Converse

    The court of George II of England, both before after he became king, socially resembled a better dressed and formal middle school Thus it probably resembled most royal courts when actual money and power were at issue The first three Hanovarian kings were perhaps the last British monarchs with these assets at their disposal, though Parliament was chipping away at the power of the court.Most of the events took place at Kennsington Palace murals along a staircase show many of the actual servants, [...]

  22. Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides

    A good overall picture of the Hanoverian English court, good use of details, good use of sources I feel like the author may have tried to do a little too much to show the atmosphere of the period, the life of the court, political events, and the life of some of the court servants I came away knowing much than I did before about the time period generally I was hoping that there would be discussion of the intellectual pursuits of Queen Caroline, but while she is a central figure, this is not a fu [...]

  23. Shane

    I wanted to give this book 3 1 2 stars, but that s not an option of course I d always wondered, like most people, what exactly do people do at court There s a lot of standing around, some windy talkingwhat else When I heard there was a book tried to answer that question for the Georgian court from George I to the beginning of George the third s reign I decided to give it a try.It turns out a lot of standing about and windy talking I did like how the book filled in the details on who these people [...]

  24. Sherwood Smith

    An enjoyable look at the lives of the first three Georges and their courtiers Worsley gives a vivid account not only of courtiers, but those they took and interest in like the poignant tale of Peter the Wild Boy and those who built their palaces and painted the interiors some great stuff about William Kent.Two things occurred to me as I was reading this, and sometimes comparing specific incidents with letters and diaries I already have like Mary Wortley Montagu s and Horry Walpole s one, I shoul [...]

  25. Aishuu

    This took a bit of slogging to get into, since the opening was very slow After I got passed the first 100 pages, I started to enjoy and finished it within a couple of days The introduction Worsley s personal opinions about working in Kensington kind of dragged things down, and it took a while to sort out the cast of characters The structure gradual progression through time with occasional regressions to re introduce people didn t really work for me.I did enjoy this portrait of the early Georgian [...]

  26. Cheyanne

    This is an enjoyable, informative history of personal life at the British court during the reigns of George I and George II the German born founders of the dynasty now known as the Windsors As the author admits, it is an era often overlooked by historians because there were very few great events and the kings were not exactly scintillating personalities However, this book is not about big events, but rather an upstairs downstairs portrait of the ruling family at home and their many retainers fro [...]

  27. Marla

    The content is very interesting and the way this book was written leaves no doubt that the information is historically accurate and extremely well researched because it reads and is presented much like a term paper.Based on how this was written and how the information was presented, I would have given this book 1 star but the characters and their lives are too interesting to completely discount this writing It is unfortunate that Lucy Worsely choose to share her amazing knowledge in such a disjo [...]

  28. Jonathan Lopez

    In her appearances on BBC television, historian Lucy Worsley has shown herself to be an engaging, sometimes unconventional, guide to the habits and customs of bygone Britons The chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces once demonstrated Henry VIII s caloric intake by purchasing the ingredients for a Tudor feast ale, meat, a few vegetables and then cheerfully analyzing the results in terms of today s money and diets.Worsley s winsome approach to history finds apt subject matter in The Courtiers, a [...]

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