On the surface the sisters were busy, accomplished girls, but the real story beneath their composed image was quite different - no one who reads Princesses will ever look in the same way again at the calm, composed women in Gainsborough's portraits. The King may have believed that his six daughters were happy to live celibately with him and Queen Charlotte at Windsor, but secretly, as Flora Fraser's absorbing narrative of royal repression and sexual licence shows, the sisters enjoyed startling freedom. The historical searchlight has been turned with great intensity and sympathy on George III and his family, and the sweep of history between the Regency and Victorian eras. Flora Fraser has written an extraordinary (and surprisingly modern) story with real authority, wit and elegance.
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