It's such a horribly hot weekend in most of America (ah, July) that it seems only fitting that we post another of our favorite Horrible Histories videos.
This one follows the career and reign of King George IV (1762-1830), a king who is more famous for being a regent than a ruler in his own right, serving as prince regent while his father George III suffered through bouts of madness. George IV was better known for his extravagant lifestyle, prodigious appetite, and many mistresses than for any genuine leadership, and even the beautiful palaces (like the Royal Pavilion at Brighton) that he commissioned were viewed at the time as only more examples of his spendthrift's excess.
Understandably George received little respect from his subjects. TheTimes famously noted at his death that "there never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king. What eye has wept for him? What heart has heaved one throb of unmercenary sorrow?... If he ever had a friend, a devoted friend from any rank of life, we protest that the name of him or her never reached us."
In comparison to that, the Horrible Histories treatment of his life is downright respectful.
Right: George IV, King of Great Britain, by John Russell, 1790-92
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.