George III  

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"At first, in The Madness of King George (1994), King George III's habits appear mildly eccentric, and are purposely ignored for reasons of state. The King is seen as being highly concerned with the wellbeing and productivity of Great Britain, and continually exhibits an encyclopedic knowledge of the families of even the most obscure royal appointments. In fact, the King is growing more unsettled, largely over the loss of America."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 - 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and Prince-elector of Brunswick-L√ľneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was a monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

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Cultural depictions of George III of the United Kingdom

George III of the United Kingdom has featured in many examples of popular culture.

Theatre and opera

The 1969 music theatre piece Eight Songs for a Mad King by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies depicts the increasing madness and eventual death of the king as he talks to birds. George's insanity is the subject of the 1986 radio play In the Ruins by Nick Dear (adapted for the stage in 1990 with Patrick Malahide as George) and the 1991 play The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett (with Nigel Hawthorne as George in the premiere production, for which he received the Laurence Olivier Award). Dear's play centres on George looking back on his life in 1817 (the year before his death), whilst Bennett's concerns George's first bout of insanity in late 1788 and early 1789, which those in the royal court, including his own son, use as a way to sidestep regal authority. Hawthorne reprised his role in the film version of the play.

George also appears as a character in the Broadway musical Hamilton (played by Jonathan Groff in the original Broadway cast) to sing three short musical numbers. Here, he is depicted as a cross between a scorned lover and a manchild who lightheartedly comments on the start of the American Revolutionary War, its aftermath, and finally John Adams' succession as President of the United States. He also appears briefly during The Reynolds Pamphlet. While most of the play's songs are in the style of hip-hop, R&B, contemporary pop, or soul, George's numbers mimic the popular music of the British Invasion. He also appears as Prince of Wales and later king in the play Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly (who played George in the play's premiere production in 2015).

Literature

King George III appears in the following novels:

Film

On film, George has been portrayed by:

Television

Portrayals

On television, George has been portrayed by:

Other

The popular 1970s U.S. children's educational series Schoolhouse Rock features a song entitled "No More Kings" which paints George III as a tyrant reluctant to allow the colonies out from under his boot.

George III's papers do not include a diary. The TV series The X-Files uses a fictional anecdote that George III's diary entry on July 4, 1776 read: "Nothing important happened today", as a plot device and as the title of the ninth-season premiere. (In fact, George could anyway not have been notified of transatlantic events until weeks later).

Radio

George appeared in the final episode of the British radio comedy Revolting People in 2006, played by Timothy West, where he is almost convinced into calling off the American Revolutionary War.

Sculpture

There are several extant statues of the king, not only in London (at the junction of Pall Mall and Cockspur Street, near Trafalgar Square, and in the courtyard of Somerset House titled George III and the River Thames) but also elsewhere - on London Street in Liverpool, on the Bargate in Southampton, at one end of the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park (The Copper Horse) and the painted King's Statue in Weymouth, Dorset.

The American statue of George III at Bowling Green, New York City was toppled on 9 July 1776 by Sons of Liberty during the American Revolution. A replica of the statue exists at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

Besides depictions in works of art, students for years learned the length of a mile through the mnemonic "George the Third said with a smile / 'There's seventeen sixty yards in a mile.'", 1760 being the year he came to the throne.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "George III" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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