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Kensington Palace is now most famous as the former home of Diana,
Princess of Wales, but the palace's glory days came between 1714 and
1760, during the reigns of George I and II . In the eighteenth century,
this palace was a world of skulduggery, intrigue, politicking,
etiquette, wigs, and beauty spots, where fans whistled open like
switchblades and unusual people were kept as curiosities. Lucy Worsley's
The Courtiers charts the trajectory of the fantastically
quarrelsome Hanovers and the last great gasp of British court life.
Structured around the paintings of courtiers and servants that line the
walls of the King's Staircase of Kensington Palace-paintings you can see
at the palace today-The Courtiers goes behind closed doors to
meet a pushy young painter, a maid of honor with a secret marriage, a
vice chamberlain with many vices, a bedchamber woman with a violent
husband, two aging royal mistresses, and many more. The result is an
indelible portrait of court life leading up to the famous reign of
George III , and a feast for both Anglophiles and lovers of history and

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