2021 Festival – Episode 11.
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George III, Britain’s longest-reigning king, has gone down in history as ‘the cruellest tyrant of this age’. Andrew Roberts’s new biography takes entirely the opposite view. It portrays George as intelligent, benevolent, scrupulously devoted to the constitution of his country and (as head of government as well as head of state) navigating the turbulence of eighteenth-century politics with a strong sense of honour and duty.
He was a devoted husband and family man, a great patron of the arts and sciences, keen to advance Britain’s agricultural capacity (‘Farmer George’) and determined that her horizons should be global. He could be stubborn and self-righteous, but he was also brave, brushing aside numerous assassination attempts, galvanising his ministers and generals at moments of crisis and stoical in the face of his descent – five times during his life – into a horrifying loss of mind.
Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian of international renown. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London, and the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Lisa Marie Griffith is author of ‘Dublin: Then and Now’ and ‘Stones of Dublin: A History of Dublin in Ten Buildings’ and has published a number of essays on Dublin history. She is co-editor of two edited collections of essays, ‘Leaders of the City: Dublin’s first citizens, 1500–1950’ and ‘Death and Dying in Dublin: 1500 to the Present’.
The Dublin Festival of History is brought to you by Dublin City Council, and organised by Dublin City Libraries, in partnership with Dublin City Council Culture Company.