2012 0-7734-4079-8 The book is a collection of Professor John L. Bullion’s published and unpublished essays on King George III’s impact on the origins and development of the American Revolution. They comprise the most extensive investigation and assessment of George’s relationship to his mother, the Dowager Princess of Wales Augusta, and her enduring influence upon his character and approach to politics. The essays also examine in detail his friendship with the Earl of Bute, both as a young protégé with his mentor and as a king with his minister. They are the most complete and compelling account of George’s early years in his preparation for “the true essential business of a king.” They establish how his development and studies contributed to the imperial crisis and the loss of most of Britain’s North American empire. In addition, Bullion’s careful examination of policy dilemmas reveal the difficulties Britain’s leaders faced.
Bute’s central role in the making of peace with the French and Spanish and in planning for Britain’s security, finances, and commerce during the postwar period are covered extensively. These essays fully show how and why the disastrous decisions on colonial policies in the early 1760’s were made. Other chapters shed new light on the king’s reactions to the armed struggle in America during 1775-1783 and the aftermath of defeat. The book closes with a poignant and hitherto unpublished account of the old monarch’s turn away from reform. By illustrating so vividly the mistakes and tragedies of his reign, this book will significantly alter historians’ understanding of George III, his family, his “dearest friend” Bute, and the politicians who acted with America’s last king.