Author: Laura Purcell
Publisher: Myrmidion Books Ltd.
Publish Date: September 2012
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "London 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. The King of England is going mad. Left alone with thirteen children and with the country at war, Charlotte has to fight to hold her husband’s throne. It is a time of unrest and revolutions but most of all Charlotte fears the King himself, someone she can no longer love or trust. She has lost her marriage to madness and there is nothing she can do except continue to do her royal duty.
Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it, with devastating consequences.
The moving true story of George III’s madness and the women whose lives it destroyed."
My Two Cents:
In "Queen of Bedlam," Queen Charlotte of England is not sure what to do about King George III. He started out being a very good husband and a very good father but things have changed. He's starting to descend into madness, which means that it is up to Charlotte to step up, which she believes that she is ill prepared to do. I had never read any historical fiction or even really history about Queen Charlotte or King George III so I was not really sure what to expect. I was intrigued by the story of the mad king and wanted to know more about him and his family. This book definitely gives you a good taste for that!
In the late 1700s, England is really at a turning point. Wars in other parts of the world are threatening to affect them and potentially cause the need to get involved in something that the country can't stand to be involved in. England has also just lost the American colonies to an expensive war. It certainly doesn't help that England's King doesn't seem to be all there. Queen Charlotte is really at the center of this book. She is a complex character. You feel bad for what she is going through with her beloved husband but on the other hand, she seems to really draw on her children for support to what is almost an unhealthy degree. It was really interesting to see how and why she does this in the book. It was also interesting to see how her children coped with her holding on to them so tightly.
I really liked the setting and time period of this book. You all know that I love learning something new when I read a book and this book definitely allowed for that. I liked reading about how chaotic England was when the world surrounding them was arguably more chaotic. You get to see how England was getting pulled in so many different directions.
This is the kind of novel that you simply sink into and find yourself fully engaged. Purcell did a really good job of creating characters in Queen Charlotte, Royal, and Sophie that you want to follow. There was a good mix of informative historical detail and enough drama to really draw you in.
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