A political satire, 'secret history' and sexual expose; from its initial publication in 1808 Sarah Green's The Private History of the Court of England has met with a divided but impassioned critical reaction. Much of this response was due to Green's ...
scathing parody of the Prince of Wales through depicting the increasing corruption of 'heir apparent' (later Edward IV) during the troubled life of Henry VI. She paints a cutting portrait of greed, scandal and decadence, mocking the Prince's descent from romantic hero Florizel to debauchee. In drawing parallels between the fourteenth century and her own era, Green explores the limits of the genre whilst simultaneously addressing some of the central discourses of the period: sexual freedom, social injustice and the British national identity. In particular, this edition highlights the diversity of her writing - the novel's ambitious political satire and use of the genre of historical novel is strikingly different to the commentary on the literary scene and female folly found in Romance Readers and Romance Writers, also published in Pickering & Chatto's Chawton House series. This scholarly edition of Green's novel will prove of interest both to historians and students of political thought; equally, scholars working on English national identity and the development of the genre of satire will find her approach fascinating. Whilst an important and under-researched example of women's writing, scholars of Romanticism and the nineteenth century will also find much value in this challenging political satire.