The Fortune Hunter: A German Prince in Regency England by Peter James Bowman - review by Miranda Seymour

Miranda Seymour

Plucking Roses

The Fortune Hunter: A German Prince in Regency England


Signal Books 232pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

A prince he did a-wooing go, in 1826, in search of a wealthy English bride. Nothing unusual about that in the years following the Napoleonic Wars, when an entire army of Europe’s finest crossed the Channel to twirl their moustaches – ‘whiskered aliens’, harrumphed an outraged British gentleman of the press – and to show off their waltz steps in a country never known (despite the recent endeavours of Anton du Beke) for its dainty footwork.

What was wrong, then, with the arrival in Regency England of a charming forty-year-old fortune-hunter with a splendid title, impeccable manners, and a keen enthusiasm for English culture, English gardens and English girls? Only the fact that Prince Hermann Pückler-Muskau, creator of two of the greatest English gardens

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