Life and times of George IV
Time: 11:00 - 13:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HBH36
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
George IV is remembered as the Prince Regent whose extravagance was matched by his good taste. He waited till he was nearly 60 before succeeding but once he did was diligent and successful.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
George showed his taste building Brighton Pavilion in an exotic style which led the way to great changes in fashion. The Regency Period is still one of the most admired in architecture typified by Nash, furniture and the arts. George was a patron both of the theatre and horse racing and was the butt of some of the wickedest satirical cartoons ever produced. His personal life was fraught with quarrels with his parents, who would not allow him to marry the woman he loved. His marriage was a disaster and his beloved daughter met with tragedy. His reign as Regent marked the climax with the war against Napoleon and he counted Wellington among his close companions. In politics, Charles James Fox led a new radical Left whilst on the Right, his first Prime Minister as Regent was assassinated but Robert Peel founded the police force as Home Secretary, and among other reforms was the Catholic Emancipation Act. After one of the grandest ever coronations George made the first peaceful visits since union to Edinburgh (coordinated by Sir Walter Scott) and Dublin. But his reign was marred by the scandal surrounding his estranged wife. In the world of science and technology the first railways were built in his reign.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-Discuss the place and role of the monarchy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with more authority.
-Listen to music and look at art from the period with greater appreciation of the background to how the composers
and artists approached their work.
-Recall facts and events from the reign to put in context with other historical studies.
-Recognize the style of the period and influences on our modern world
Analyse the interaction between the court and the events going on around them.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an `introductory` course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good
grasp of English to keep up with the course. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, an open mind
and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than
specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course is run by Dr William Sterling so anyone familiar with his courses will be aware of the mixture of illustrated
lectures, discussions, questions and readings. There will be three sessions dividing George IV’s life into three
periods and looked at more or less chronologically. In each session his personal life and family will be examined as
well as the role he played as Prince of Wales, Prince Regent and King as well as looking at the background to his
“times”, the social and cultural state of the nation. Themes that will come out include the changes in politics with the
further development of political parties; foreign affairs such as the wars against Napoleon and the attempts to keep
peace after Waterloo; and cultural developments, especially in architecture, the art of Lawrence and Cruikshank, and the development of the novel by Jane Austen and Scott.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Pen and paper to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British and European history. Please see the City Lit website.
After a BA in History & Geography at Keele with Music, Education and Greek Studies as subsidiaries, William Sterling taught History full-time before becoming a Civil Servant working for the Departments of Transport and Education. This allowed him to study part-time for his MA from Birkbeck and PhD from King’s College, London. From 1992, he lectured in Adult Education at a number of colleges before joining the City Lit in 2008. Since 1994 he has been an official Gallery Guide at the British Museum, covering the whole museum but specialising in the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Etruscans, the Medieval & Modern European and Enlightenment Galleries. As a lecturer, he specialises in those same areas as well as Royal History (especially British Monarchs from 1603 to 1910), Composers’ Lives and other Cultural, especially interdisciplinary, topics. He also lectures on Cruise Ships on subjects ranging from Vikings to Shakespeare. He runs a website offering free resources on the subjects he teaches.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.