Courtiers : The Secret History of the Georgian Court
In the eighteenth century, the palace's most elegant assembly room was in fact a bloody battlefield. This was a world of skulduggery, politicking, wigs and beauty-spots, where fans whistled open like flick-knives.
Ambitious and talented people flocked to court in search of power and prestige, but Kensington Palace was also a gilded cage. While its inhabitants were cocooned in comfort and splendour, successful courtiers had level heads and cold hearts; their secrets were never safe. Among them, a Vice Chamberlain with many vices, a Maid of Honour with a secret marriage, a pushy painter, an alcoholic equerry, a Wild Boy, a penniless poet, a dwarf comedian, two mysterious turbaned Turks and any number of discarded royal mistresses.
An eye-opening portrait of an enthralling group of royal servants, Courtiers also throws new light on the dramatic life of George II and Queen Caroline: a lover murdered, babies snatched, horrific illnesses and tearful deathbed reconciliations.
In spite of its accessible charm, Courtiers is a serious historical study which chisels much richness from the ornate, dingy, contradictory world of the palace. Times Literary Supplement
Chief Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces (including Hampton Court and the Tower of London), Lucy Worsley is a leading young historian. She regularly appears on TV and radio shows including BBC1's The One Show and Timewatch. Her first book, Cavalier, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim.