George I

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In 1714 George Ludwig, the fifty-eight-year-old elector of Brunswick-Luneburg, became, as George I, the first of the Hanoverian dynasty to rule Britain. Until his death in 1727 George served as both elector of Hanover and British monarch. An enigmatic figure whose real character has long been concealed by anti-Hanoverian propaganda, George emerges in this groundbreaking biography as an impressive ruler who welcomed the responsibilities the accession brought him and set out to bring culture to what he considered the unsophisticated English nation.

Ragnhild Hatton’s biography is the only comprehensive account of George’s life and reign. It draws on a wide range of archival sources in several languages to illuminate the fascinating details of George’s early life and dynastic crises, his plans and ambitions for the British nation, the impact of his rationalist ideas, and his accomplishments as king. The book also examines the king’s private life, his family relationships in both Prussia and England, his private interest in music and the arts, and the improvement of his British and Hanoverian properties.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300088830
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Series: The English Monarchs Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 442
  • Sales rank: 1,347,159
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the yale edition 1
Preface 9
Spelling of names and places 11
Notes on dates 13
I Parents and childhood 15
II The electoral cap 31
The father's plans for his son 33
The family's advancement and George's marriage 37
The primogeniture struggle 42
George's divorce 48
III Experience gained 65
The Konigsmarck myth 65
George at the helm 69
The prospect of England 70
Struggle over the English succession between George and his mother 76
Wider German horizons 78
Losses of friends and companions 90
IV The royal crown 93
Hanover and Celle united 93
George's household after 1698 98
The War of the Spanish Succession 100
Death of queen Anne: the 'Act of Settlement' put into effect 104
V Settling down 111
Great Britain at the time of George's accession 111
George and the party system 119
The king's English 128
The royal household 132
VI Two issues of principle 147
The struggle for place and profit 147
Promotion by title 156
The Hanoverian succession 157
VII Three crises 170
George I's image 170
The Jacobite 'Fifteen' 174
European issues 1716-17 180
The ministerial crisis 193
Quarrel in the royal family 201
VIII The watershed 1718-21 211
Lessons learnt 211
European peace plans 216
Success in the south 230
Partial success in the north 235
Shifts of emphasis 242
IX Peace, its problems and achievements 247
The South Sea bubble 247
George, a captive of his ministers? 256
George as a patron of the arts 260
Unfinished business 267
Alliances and counter-alliances 274
War or peace? 277
X Death of George I 280
George's last journey 280
The balance sheet 285
Bibliography 300
Notes to the text 322
Genealogical tables 372
Map 1 George's Hanoverian dominions and the near neighbours of his electorate 378
Map 2 Northern Europe 380
Map 3 Southern Europe 382
List of illustrations 384
Index 386
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