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The Prince Regent and his Collecting Mania


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Easterbrook Hall

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The Prince Regent and his Collecting Mania

Talk given by Nicholas Merchant

To be a Prince, to be handsome and rich would seemingly be to have it all, but the Prince Regent, later George IV, whilst having all these attributes was to undermine all these benefits by a life-style that was not only raffish, extravagant and selfish, but also that of a voluptuary. Ironically, he at the same time, through his collecting of works of art did much to re-establish the Royal Collection as one of the greatest in the world, and thus restore its preeminence, disastrously destroyed at the time of Oliver Cromwell. This talk explores not just the forming of the collection but something of the character of this conundrum of a prince. “The First Gentleman of Europe.”

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