Leslie Mitchell

Cautionary Tales

A Royal Affair: George III and His Troublesome Siblings


Chatto and Windus 365pp £20 order from our bookshop

Publishers’ lists make it clear that what might be called frills-and-furbelows history is indeed high fashion. The winning formula is relatively simple: identify a group of people with exotic private lives, set them in a courtly or aristocratic milieu, and stir thoroughly. Clothes should be described in some detail, and so should the deviousness of servants, the smell of animals, and the ‘passions’ of the central characters. Colourful language gives a good story real pace.

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