Books: Playful Prince

BRIGHTON—Osbert Sitwell and Margaret Barton—Houghton Mifflin ($4).

It was Thackeray—"with his warped, middle-class outlook, poor, frightened little mid-nineteenth-century Thackeray"—who gave George IV and his Brighton days their bad reputation in Victorian England. To that novelist George was everything that an English monarch should not be: a bigamist, a liar and a lecher who played practical jokes, gambled, drank heavily, and, as Prince of Wales, with an income of £70,000, managed to accumulate £250,000 of debts in three years. Brighton, despite its quaint, un-English charm, its surface respectability, had been the scene of...

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