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I am more interested in how Austen developed her view of Prinny—which I believe was already fixed by the time of the Emma dedication. D.” (George III by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith). But, just as he knew every facing of every military uniform and did not know why the American colonies were rumbling with dissatisfaction, so he had no particularly good grasp of his children’s different personalities.
I have three goals here: to summarize enough of Prinny’s iniquities to justify Austen’s dim view of him; to present some possible reasons—linked to her early life in Steventon, Hampshire, and to two of her beloved brothers—why Austen might have disdained Prinny even more strongly than the average literate Briton did; and to make some broad suggestions about how Austen’s view of Prinny might have influenced both her Juvenilia and her mature work. The sentiment on the reverse, “Patriae Ovanti/Coronat. Sept/MDCCLXI” (For His Rejoicing Country/Crowned 22 September 1761), was not, as far as I know, repeated on any commemorative medals for Prinny’s coronation. In the next twenty-one years, he was joined by fourteen brothers and sisters. was prone to go up and check on his sleeping children at six in the morning. (Fraser, Princesses 14) George III’s grasp of Prinny’s personality was especially poor, as it was the polar opposite of his own: unrestrained, self-indulgent, and emotional to the point of hysteria.
This acknowledgment is as fair as I intend to be about Prinny’s accomplishments, however; I consider myself as “partial, prejudiced, and ignorant [a] Historian” (Juvenilia 176) as the young Jane Austen claimed to be in “The History of England”!
In this essay I will not address the circumstances surrounding the dedication of Emma to Prinny, since the episode is well covered by all biographers of Austen, as well as by some recent contributors to JASNA’s journals. No detail of their life was too small to interest him.
She and her husband collect British royal commemoratives. I do not know what to do about it;—but if I must give up the Princess, I am resolved at least always to think that she would have been respectable, if the Prince had behaved only tolerably by her at first.— But why should Jane Austen have “hated” George Augustus Frederick—Prince of Wales from his birth until 1811, Prince Regent from 1811 to 1820, and King George IV from 1820 to his death in 1830?
to her longtime friend and housemate, Martha Lloyd: I suppose all the World is sitting in Judgement upon the Princess of Wales’s Letter. An obvious reason was that “Prinny,” as many impudent subjects called him, was an easy figure to despise.
George III’s first attack of madness began in autumn 1788.(For example, he would be largely unable to create peerages, award pensions, or make official appointments.) In any case, the King was declared out of danger by February 1789, before this bill could be passed—and Prinny emerged with an even more tarnished reputation. Instead, she liked to flirt, brazenly and without subtlety of manner, and it was rumoured that her governess followed her around at dances to prevent her embarrassing herself “by indecent conversations with men.” (3-4) Worst of all, the Princess was conspicuous for her body odor even in this unwashed age, whereas Prinny himself, a noted dandy, was unusually fastidious.By the early 1790s, Prinny’s initial devotion to Mrs. Princess Caroline’s lively, open style, however, was not desirable in a wife. Malmesbury’s tactful hints to Caroline for improving her hygiene and deportment went largely unregarded.Although Caroline was a daughter of George III’s older sister, she and Prinny had never met. By the wedding on 8 April, Prinny was so intoxicated he had to be supported upright. Their estrangement soon became so obvious, however, that Caroline was permitted to set up a separate residence near Greenwich in 1797. [S]he flirted outrageously, and was reputed to have a habit of leaving a dinner party with one of the male guests, taking him off to a private room, and not reappearing for several hours” (Robins 25).Her biographer Jane Robins summarizes what the career diplomat the Earl of Malmesbury found when he arrived in Brunswick to collect Caroline in late 1794: The German Princess was a vivacious young woman of 26, as plump and gossipy as a kitchen maid, and almost as poorly educated. As Caroline later claimed, he was so much drunker by bedtime that he collapsed on the hearth and she left him there. [A]ccording to Caroline’s later account, the men spent the time drinking, gambling, and carousing, . She was allowed part-time access to Charlotte, despite Prinny’s wishes. Back at Carlton House, Prinny grew tired of Lady Jersey by 1798 and soon resumed bombarding Mrs. By 1800, having been reassured by the Pope that the 1785 marriage was valid, Maria was reconciled to Prinny.