Friday, June 27, 2014

HFVBT: Laura Purcell's Queen of Bedlam - Review

Here in America, we learn in our history lessons in elementary school that King George III was a tyrant keeping us from our freedom. The truth of the matter is we're not usually taught both sides of the story. In Queen of Bedlam, we are shown the other side of the story. That King George, who was very human, had real regrets about losing the colonies and cared about what his people thought of him. Of course, this is a fictional account, but even so, it is believable that this was the truth of the man.

I first learned of the illness that affected George III in the film, "The Madness of King George." Excellent film. So, when I heard about this book, I was immediately drawn to another telling of the story, this time from the point of view of his wife and queen, Charlotte, and two of his daughters. We learn early on that queen Charlotte expects the utmost decorum from herself and her daughters. No emotion must be shown. However, when things start to fall apart with the king, that decorum is very hard to maintain.

The author tells the story across the backdrop of the conflicts that were going on in France with the French Revolution and beyond and so we are shown the turmoil that was occurring at the time. Adding these external elements to the culture of the monarchy during George III's illness makes for a dramatic story. We experience the dread and disappointment of the daughters who are at marriageable age, but are unable to wed due to their father's status and prospective matches disillusioned by a fear of the family madness. All of these elements gave this novel a suspenseful feel. What will happen next? Will the people revolt, will the king hurt his family, will the daughters eventually find a match? It all plays out rather sadly, but the telling is so compelling, we must read on.

I was very impressed by this historical novel and will look forward to the author's future offerings.

About the book
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Myrmidon Books Ltd
Paperback; 432p
ISBN-10: 1910183016

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London, 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. Her beloved husband, England’s King, has gone mad.

Left alone with thirteen children and a country at war, Charlotte must fight to hold her husband’s throne in a time of revolutionary fever. But it is not just the guillotine that Charlotte fears: it is the King himself.

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.

About the Author
Laura Purcell lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England. She met her husband working in Waterstones bookshop and they share their home with several pet guinea pigs.

Laura is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Society for Court Studies and Historic Royal Palaces. She has recently appeared on the PBS documentary The Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace, talking about Queen Caroline’s life at Hampton Court.

Laura’s novels explore the lives of royal women during the Georgian era, who have largely been ignored by modern history. Her debut Queen Charlotte was originally self-published as God Save the King, receiving excellent reviews as an Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction.

You can find out more about Laura and read her history blog at You can also follow her on Facebook,Twitter and Goodreads.

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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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  1. I've been to Paris, Italy & UK & would LOVE to go back to each place to re-visit!!!!

  2. Living in NM is fascinating since history surrounds me everywhere. The blend of cultures, native, crypto-Jews, Hispanic and the pueblos make this place unique. The artists who called Santa Fe and Taos home, and the fame of Los Alamos make this a unique and majestic place.

  3. So cute! I must get one of those warning signs :)

  4. Poe was such a brilliant writer and seemingly bizarre guy. This one looks good!

  5. Oh my gosh - as I scrolled down I loved each of these even more than the last! I love, love, love that sign!

  6. These are so good! I love the fat cat in the tree! priceless :)

  7. I've read so much from the period before this and would love to win this book to read about this time period! Lovely cover!

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