This engrossing biography of George IV, king of Great Britain between 1820 and 1830, provides a full and objective reassessment of the monarch's character, reputation and achievement. Previous writers have tended to accept the unfavourable verdicts of the king's contemporaries that he was a dissolute, pleasure-loving dilettante and a feeble and ineffective ruler who was responsible for the decline of the power and reputation of the monarchy in the early nineteenth century. Now E. A. Smith offers a new view of George IV, one that does not minimise the king's faults but focuses on the positive qualities of his achievement in politics and in the patronage of the arts. 'excellent ... a balanced, fair and definitive biography' Robert Blake, 'Financial Times''a delightfully written and stimulating contribution to English royal history' Derek Turner, 'Literary Review''a fine biography which goes a long way to explain its extravagant, puzzling, frightened subject - one of the most cultured kings we ever had' Philip Hensher, 'The Spectator''It is clear that this book will be the standard biography of George IV for many years to come' Andreas Fahrmeir, 'German Historical Institute Bulletin'E. A. Smith was reader in history at the University of Reading, and author of 'A Queen on Trial: The Affair of Queen Caroline', among other books.