George II

Puppet of the Politicians?

Jeremy Black

£55.00
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ISBN: 9780859898072

Publication: October 26, 2007

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Following closely on the heels of his recent biography of George III, Jeremy Black turns to the reign of his grandfather, George II, to set the record straight. In his new book he sets out to demonstrate the unfairness of charges that George II was a puppet king overshadowed by towering politicians such as Walpole, and later, Pitt. For a king who ruled for so long (1727–60), the neglect shown by historians to George II is surprising. He was the last British king to lead an army into battle, at Dettingen in 1743, and his rule included the drama of Culloden in 1746 – the culmination of the war over British succession. The neglect is due chiefly to the lack of easily accessible source material: George II left no diaries, and was not a great letter writer. Black has instead exploited rich archival resources to piece together a figure who was the pivot in an often finely balanced – and sometimes dangerously unbalanced – fledgling political system. In the process of revealing George II to us, Black goes further than biography, telling us much about the society and system within which the King functioned. In an era of successive wars between European states – in which George, as Elector of Hanover, was keen to ensure that Britain played a part – there is much here also relating to Britain’s role within Europe.

Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter and is one of the world's leading military historians. He works on post-1500 military history and also on eighteenth-century British history, international relations, cartographic history and newspaper history. His many publications include 'History of the British Isles', 'War and the World, 1450–2000', 'Why Wars Happen', 'Maps and History' and 'Maps of Politics'.

Preface Abbreviations Map 1. The Role of Monarchy in Eighteenth-Century Britain 2. A New Dynasty and a Quarrelsome Prince of Wales, 1683-1727 3. The King's Realm 4. The New King, 1727-1731, 77 5. Character and Concerns 6. George and Walpole: Double Act or King in the Shadows? 1731-1741 7. Turmoil and Crisis, 1741-1746 8. The Rule of the Pelhams? 1746-1754 9. Last Years, 1754-1760 10. George II's Reputation 11. Conclusions Notes Selected Further Reading Index

Black documents the King’s role more extensively than any previous scholar, and his use of a wide range of evidence from foreign diplomats accredited to the British court is a major strength of the book.
Philip Woodfine   EHR, cxxiv. 509

A re-evaluation has long been overdue, and is provided by Jeremy Black in forceful and convincing detail.
 

Jeremy Black is pre-eminently well qualified to offer this new biographical study of George II. His skilful volume is all the more welcome as George II has been much neglected by historians.
  History, Vol. 94, Issue 313

What Black offers here is not a detailed vision… but an accessible overview ... Black throughout writes with the assurance and inward knowledge drawn from thirty years’ research in the field. ...here is the most complete guide in English.
  The International History Review, xxx. 4

With recent scholarly attention turning to the Hanoverians and the Hanoverian connection, Jeremy Black’s new biography of George II is timely, for if the context of George’s reign is now more fully understood, there has been no recent study of the life of the king himself. ... a book that engages with recent scholarship, fills a gap in the literature, and yet is likely to appeal to a general readershp...
  Reviews in History, review no. 659, www.history.ac.uk

George II has been victim of some tepid biographies, but at last he has been rescued by Black’s welcome life.
  BBC History Magazine

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

320 Pages

ISBN: 9780859898072

Publication: October 26, 2007

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