Born in 1762, George IV was the eldest son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. He is remembered today for his artistic tastes and dissolute lifestyle. In 1785 he secretly married a Catholic widow, Mrs Fitzherbert, but their marriage was invalid under British law and he was eventually persuaded to take an official wife, his cousin Caroline of Brunswick. The marriage was a disaster from the very start, but it did produce one daughter, Princess Charlotte.
In 1811 Prince George became regent for his mentally ill father. The Regency lasted until his father's death in 1820, when the erstwhile Prince Regent became King George IV. His only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte, had died in 1817 (while giving birth to her first child, who also died), so George IV had no heirs. Upon his death in 1830, the throne passed to one of his younger brothers, William IV.
King William IV also had no legitimate children; he died in 1837 and was succeeded by his brother Edward's daughter Victoria.
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George IV: The Rebel Who Would Be King by Christopher Hibbert. A detailed picture of the king's life, including his exorbitant spending on homes, clothes, and women; his patronage of the arts; his illegal first marriage; and his witty one-liners.
Prince of Pleasure: The Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency by Saul David. Points out that despite the ridicule he endured over his scandalous private life, George IV was a man of intelligence and influence.
Prinny and His Pals: George IV and the Remarkable Gift of Royal Friendship by Tom Ambrose. For all his faults, George IV may have been the most humane and amusing British monarch, delighting the finest minds of his generation and easily winning over his subjects and family.
George IV: Inspiration of the Regency by Stephen Parissien. Biography that presents George IV as a father of modern celebrity. He is set against the cultural backdrop of his age, the Regency, showing how his legacy still affects our view of the British monarchy.
George IV: The Rebel Who Would Be King by Christopher Hibbert. Comprehensive biography of this sophisticated but unpopular prince.
George IV by E. A. Smith. Although the king has been portrayed as incompetent, this biography says that was not the case.
George IV by Michael De-La-Noy. A biography.
The Letters of King George IV, 1812-1830 by George IV. A selection from letters and documents preserved at Windsor.
For the King's Pleasure by Hugh Roberts is about the furnishing and decoration of George IV's apartments at Windsor Castle. Includes 486 color illustrations.
The Prince of Pleasure and His Regency: 1811-20 by J.B. Priestley. Out of print, but available from Alibris.
The Mistresses of King George IV by M. J. Levy relates the history of George's many scandalous affairs.
My Lady Scandalous: The Amazing Life and Outrageous Times of Grace Dalrymple Elliott, Royal Courtesan by Jo Manning. Biography. Grace Elliott was a mistress of the future King George IV. She was also mistress of a member of the French royal family, and she narrowly escaped death via guillotine during the French Revolution. It was rumored that Napoleon wanted to marry her.
Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson by Paula Byrne. Biography of an actress who became the mistress of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV).
Perdita: Royal Mistress, Writer, Romantic by Sarah Gristwood. A history of Georgian England through the prism of the rags-to-riches story of Mary Robinson, who rose to become mistress of the future King George IV.
The Courtesan's Revenge: Harriette Wilson, the Woman Who Blackmailed the King by Frances Wilson. Biography of Harriette Wilson, a courtesan in Regency England whose conquests included the future King George IV.
The Prince's Mistress: A Life of Mary Robinson by Hester Davenport. Mary Robinson, nicknamed Perdita, was an actress who lived during the reign of George III. She was hotly pursued by the 17-year-old Prince Regent and became his first mistress.
The King's Wife: George IV and Mrs Fitzherbert by Valerie Irvine. Account of the future King George IV's secret and illegal marriage to a Roman Catholic, Maria Fitzherbert.
Maria Fitzherbert: The Secret Wife of George IV by James Munson. England's King George IV was secretly married to a Catholic woman, a fact which could have cost him the throne. This biography portrays Mrs. Fitzherbert as a strong, down-to-earth woman.
Memoirs of Mrs Fitzherbert: With an Account of Her Marriage With H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Afterwards King George IV by Charles Langdale. Maria Fitzherbert (1756-1837) secretly married the young Prince of Wales in 1785, but the union was legally invalid. These memoirs are based on her own recollections, recounted to the author's brother. (New paperback edition.)
Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess by James Chambers. Biography of the Prince Regent's daughter Charlotte, who was heir to the British throne in the early 19th century. She married the future Belgian king Leopold I, but their love story was ended by Charlotte's tragic early death, which caused a great public outpouring of grief.
Caroline & Charlotte: The Regent's Wife and Daughter, 1795-1821 by Alison Plowden. According to the author, Caroline and Charlotte lived their lives surrounded by characters who might have been lifted from a Gothic novel.
Daughter of England by Dorothy Margaret Stuart. A study of Princess Charlotte of Wales and her family. This book is out of print and difficult to obtain, but sometimes available on Amazon.com.
Prinny's Daughter: A Life of Princess Charlotte of Wales by Thea Holme.
Autobiography of Miss Cornelia Knight: Volume 1 by Ellis Cornelia Knight, edited by John Kaye. Appointed in 1813 to the household of Princess Charlotte of Wales, daughter of the Prince Regent, Cornelia Knight was dismissed with the princess's other attendants in 1814. Volume 2 is also available.
In Royal Fashion by Kay Staniland. The clothes of Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria, 1796-1901.
Memoirs of Her Late Royal Highness Charlotte Augusta by Robert Huish. Published in 1818, the year after Charlotte's death. From Alibris.
An Obstetric Tragedy: The Case of Her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte Augusta by Franco Crainz. Two separate works relating to Charlotte's death after childbirth. Her son was stillborn and the attending physician, Dr. Croft, committed suicide three months later. Sometimes available at Alibris.
Royal Mourning and Regency Culture: Elegies and Memorials of Princess Charlotte by Stephen C. Behrendt. About the death and burial of the Prince Regent's daughter, Charlotte Augusta, who died in childbirth.
All for Love: The Scandalous Life and Times of Royal Mistress Mary Robinson by Amanda Elyot. Novel about an actress who had a shocking affair with the future King George IV.
Perdita's Prince by Jean Plaidy. This novel from the "Georgian Saga" series focuses on the love affairs of the future George IV. From Alibris.
The Regent's Daughter by Jean Plaidy. Novel from the Georgian Saga. From Alibris.
The Secret Wife of King George IV by Diane Haeger. A novel about George's secret marriage to Maria Fitzherbert. From Alibris.
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