George IV (1762-1830) was one of the most gifted of all royal patrons.
His love of fine objects and his taste for the theatrical and the romantic are well documented.
In this pioneering study Hugh Roberts focuses on the King's last and greatest commission: the rebuilding and refurnishing of the Private Apartments at Windsor Castle.
Drawing on much previously unpublished material, including royal correspondence, original accounts and detailed inventories, Hugh Roberts reconstructs George IV's ambitious programme of change.
Always over budget, and never delivered swiftly enough for his liking, the project was still unfinished at the time of the King's death in 1830.
Now, by means of an acute analysis of newly discovered, documents, Hugh Roberts is able to throw light on George IV's often complex relationships with his advisers and with the various architects, artists and craftsmen he favoured, in particular Jeffrey Wyattville, A.
C. and A.W.N. Pugin, and Nicholas Morel and George Seddon. Much of the surviving furniture is still in its original setting at Windsor, and it is published here for the first time. Virtually every identified item is illustrated, and there are high-quality reproductions, too, of the richly coloured room designs and original drawings requested by the King for some of his most imaginative - and expensive - commissions.
The furniture and fittings now form part of the Royal Collection, and they can still be seen in their superb surroundings when the Apartments are opened to the public each year.
Hugh Roberts's elegant and scholarly study is the latest addition to the published research on the Royal Collection.
With its detailed transcriptions and copious illustrations it will be a rich source of reference for historians of architecture and furniture, interior decoration and design.