Philobiblon: The madness of King George and the self-importance of his physician

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The madness of King George and the self-importance of his physician

My 19th-century blogger Frances Williams Wynn is today reporting on accounts of the madness of King George from one of his physicians, Sir Henry Halford . She's displaying a critical mind and a fine turn of phrase:

Sir Henry is apt to be the hero of his own stories, and to boast a degree of intimacy and confidence which I am sometimes inclined to doubt. The history of the change on the subject of the Catholic question is very curious, but I own I feel it rather difficult to believe that Sir Henry was admitted into a secret so closely kept.

But the accounts of the relationship with the Prince Regent, and about telling the King about Princess Amelia's will (her jewels left to a handsome attendant), ring true.

All-in-all an interesting near-contemporary account, I'd suggest.

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