Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

DKW: George II: Flattery and Flatulence

George II died on 12 October 1760 ( I think Wikipedia has the date wrong) - which makes this the 245th anniversary of his death. I don't think the nation should mourn too much - at least not if the late great historian A.L. Morton's account of his life in A People's History of England (1938) is anything to go by:

'George I and II were petty, rather stupid German princes, more interested in Hanover than in England, ignorant of English affairs and of the English language and quite ready to let Walpole and the Whigs govern for them so long as they recieved their due amount of pickings and flattery.'

Wikipedia notes that he died 'from an aortic dissection whilst using his toilet'. A fuller account can be found in Brewer's The Death of Kings. 'As there had been throughout so much of his life, an element of farce existed then. He rose at six in the morning, as he was accustomed, drank his chocolate and went to his close-stool. His valet de chambre heard "a noise louder than the royal wind" accompanied by a groan, and went into the chamber.' Apologies for the Blackadder IIIish title, but I thought it was somewhat appropriate.

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