Courtiers The Secret History of the Georgian Court by Lucy Worsley

I think everybody knows Lucy Worsley, at least everybody from the UK that has an interest in history. After watching many TV shows, I’ve decided to start reading her books. The first one I’ve picked from the library is Courtiers. The Secret History of the Georgian Court by Lucy Worsley. I love it. Her style of writing is similar to the way she is on TV, funny and lovely.

Courtiers The Secret History of the Georgian Court by Lucy Worsley

I liked reading about the courtiers at that time. A few of them caught my attention and I’m going to talk a bit more about them. Spoilers!

Mary Lepell, married with John Hervey. She was renowned for her beauty, but it looks like her husband was gay. Even so, they had 8 children together. She was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Caroline (during the review I switch from Princess to Queen as different events happened at different times).

Peter the Wild Boy was found on 7th April 1726 in Germany. He lived for many years in the forests. When George I heard about him, asked that the boy would be brought to him. He and Princess Caroline were very intrigued by the boy and he was taken to England when they returned. After a while, Princess Caroline received the boy. He got a tutor that managed to teach him a few things. It’s likely the boy had suffer from autism. When Queen Caroline died, he was taken to a farm where he was happy, well taken care for. He died after refusing to eat when the farmer died in his bed. Because he was taken from Germany, where he would have been kept in an orphanage, most like in chains, he did have a pretty good life.
After he was found, philosophers started to ask themselves what it means to be human.

Henrietta Howard was another courtier I enjoyed reading about. Now I have a book about her in my wish-list at the library. She has a sad story, orphaned, married to a violent man who loved his drinks. Henrietta was mistress to King George II and servant to Queen Caroline.

Kensington Palace
the staircase at Kensington Palace, with the servants, from my personal archieve

Queen Caroline was a fascinating woman, intelligent. She wanted to create a private library for her 3,000 books. At the suggestion of Turk doctors, the King and she decided to try a smallpox inoculation on prisoners on death row. If they lived, they would have received a pardon. It worked and Queen Caroline took the next step and inoculated her own children, including the heir to the throne.

After an illness and a botched operation Queen Caroline was on her deathbed. She asked the King to put off the candle, so he will not see her die. He kept her room untouched for more than 20 years, even the wood in the fireplace was the wood that was brought in on her last day, but never lit. He asked to be buried in a joint coffin with Queen Caroline and he was.

The book covers many more interesting stories and I would recommend it.

Courtiers The Secret History of the Georgian Court by Lucy Worsley

Details about the picture: The second picture is taken two years ago at Kensington Palace.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.
Would I recommend it: Yes!
Published by: Faber and Faber
Year it was published: 2010
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Non-fiction. History
Pages: 402

About the author: Lucy Worsley, she is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and writer of history books.
Website & Social Media Links: I also follow her on twitter @Lucy_Worsley

1 thought on “Courtiers The Secret History of the Georgian Court by Lucy Worsley”

  • This sounds like a really interesting read! I love the way you put the pictures together for these reviews too! x

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