I had just left off writing and put on my things for walking to Alton, when Anna and her friend Harriot called in their way thither, so we went together. Their business was to provide mourning against the King’s death, and my mother has had a bombasin bought for her. I am not sorry to be back again, for the young ladies had a great deal to do, and without much method in doing it.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
June 6, 1811
George William Frederick, (4 June 1738-29 January 1820), or
King George III, is said by many to have gone mad,
necessitating the Regency. But is this what really
Not according to recent research.
Actually, the research isn’t all that new, which is why it
is inexcusable, to my thinking, to continue to characterize the King as merely having gone mad.
In 1994, the movie, The Madness of King George tried to
set the record straight…sort of. If I remember correctly,
there was a little blurb at the end stating that the King
actually suffered from Porphyria, a disease of the blood. One is inclined to think, however, that most people never read the blurb, though this is, in fact, the modern consensus of what the King’s malady actually was. Porphyria.
So-what, we ask, is porphyria? Dictionaries will merely
tell you that it is a (more…)