Memoirs of the Public and Private Life of Queen Caroline.

By Joseph Nightingale

Printed: 1978

Publisher: The Folio Society. London

Dimensions 15 × 24 × 3 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 15 x 24 x 3

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In a fitted box. Tan cloth binding with gilt title and pattern on the spine and front board.

F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

The life of Caroline of Brunswick, wife of George IV who was the Queen consort of King George IV of the United Kingdom from 29 January 1820 until her death.

Between 1795 and 1820, she was Princess of Wales.

Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (Caroline Amelia Elizabeth; 17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821) was Queen of the United Kingdom and Hanover from 29 January 1820 until her death in 1821, being the estranged wife of King George IV. She was Princess of Wales from 1795 to 1820.

The daughter of Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, and Princess Augusta of Great Britain, Caroline was engaged in 1794 to her cousin George, Prince of Wales, whom she had never met. He was already illegally married to Maria Fitzherbert. George and Caroline married the following year but separated shortly after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte, in 1796. By 1806, rumours that Caroline had taken lovers and had an illegitimate child led to an investigation into her private life. The dignitaries who led the investigation concluded that there was “no foundation” to the rumours, but Caroline’s access to her daughter was nonetheless restricted. In 1814, Caroline moved to Italy, where she employed Bartolomeo Pergami as a servant. Pergami soon became Caroline’s closest companion, and it was widely assumed that they were lovers. In 1817, Caroline was devastated when Charlotte died in childbirth. She heard the news from a passing courier as George had refused to write and tell her. He was determined to divorce Caroline and set up a second investigation to collect evidence of her adultery.

In January 1820, George became King of the United Kingdom and Hanover, and Caroline nominally became queen consort. George insisted on a divorce from Caroline, which she refused. A legal divorce was possible but difficult to obtain. Caroline returned to Britain to assert her position as queen. She was wildly popular with the British people, who sympathised with her and despised the new king for his immoral behaviour. On the basis of the loose evidence collected against her, George attempted to divorce Caroline by introducing the Pains and Penalties Bill 1820 to Parliament, but he and the bill were so unpopular, and Caroline so popular with the masses, that it was withdrawn by the Liverpool ministry. The King barred Caroline from his coronation in July 1821. She fell ill in London and died three weeks later. Her funeral procession passed through London on its way to her native Braunschweig, where she was buried.

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