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Of all bad men in a bad time… [Buckingham was] perhaps the worst, without shame, honour or decency.' George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham is one of the most entertaining and shocking of ill-advised royal friendships. David Hanrahan's new book paints a vivid picture of friendship, exile, betrayal, murder, adultery, infamy, alchemy and scandal in royal and courtly circles. Buckingham was brought up in court with the two future kings, James II and Charles II - his own father, who had had great influence over Charles II. He outraged and entertained his contemporaries in equal measure and clearly fascinated and irritated Charles, who was both forgiving and a little exploitative. David Hanrahan investigates why Charles remained largely true to his childhood friend despite Buckingham's ingratitude and his often fierce satire against the king. He gives us an engrossing and rambunctious story, at the same time offering insights into royal and courtly life and the power of the favourite.

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