The notorious affair of George IV and Maria Fitzherbert is one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of the royal family. It is the story of a young Catholic widow who became the secret wife of the heir to the throne because she had refused to become his mistress. James Munson reveals a genuine love story between the spoilt, egocentric prince and the older woman who brought peace and order to his life of restlessness and excess; resulting in a marriage that defied English law and broke all the rules of monarchy. Two themes dominate - the love of a kind-hearted woman for a charming but faithless prince, and the perilous state of the monarchy in this eventful period of history.
James Munson has a doctorate in 19th-century history from Oxford and taught there,1970-9. He has written historical and biographical scripts for the BBC and is literary editor of Contemporary Review.