Maria Fitzherbert by James Munson
The Secret Wife of George IV

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For more than a century Buckingham Palace suppressed the facts about the illicit marriage between the twice-widowed Catholic Maria Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, the future George IV. Rumor and scandal began immediately when she met the accomplished if already slightly dissolute Prince of Wales, and even in her obituary, the Times of London pronounced the marriage "either a cruel imposition to silence the scruples of a virtuous though weakminded woman, or an hypocritical pretext adopted by the lady herself to cover her shame." The Maria that emerges in the pages of biographer James Munson's pages is neither the unprincipled temptress of her critics nor the romantic heroine of her advocates but rather a complex woman of strong principles, remarkable practicality, iron will, and genuine virtue. For as resolutely as the prince pursued her, Maria steadfastly refused to become his mistress. However much he might want her or she him, she wanted marriage more. Thus was Maria thrust into the political intrigues that underlay the Regency crisis and reign of George IV as well as into one of the most bizarre chapters in the history of the English monarchy. Eight pages of black-and-white photographs add to this "... excellent, entertaining biography-cum-history of this bizarre episode in the history of the English monarchy."—Booklist (starred) "By far the most exhaustive account of its subject yet written...."—The Sunday Telegraph "Relevant and engaging ... Fitzherbert and her prince make for a lively tale."—Rocky Mountain News "A life given lively treatment here."—Publishers Weekly

About James Munson

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published December 12, 2002 by Da Capo Press. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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she might still be recognized as the legitimate wife of a King.”) He uses newspaper accounts and other published observations to prove that the marriage was common knowledge at the time, not just a story Maria and others fabricated to regain her honor after her final separation from George in 1811.

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Publishers Weekly

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(Having not been officially married to Maria, he didn't have to divorce her.) In a strange twist, the new princess saw Maria as "the Prince's true wife."

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