From a beautiful socialite she became a social pariah; her children were declared illegitimate and her family was scorned. A compelling and poignant story, beautifully told, set in the reigns of Kings George III and IV against the dramatic backdrop of Europe and America in the age of revolution.
‘Abel Smith is a wonderful storyteller, her descriptions of late-eighteenth-century Virginia, Rome and London are almost novel-like in colour and detail. Meticulously researched and elegantly told, it’s an excellent biography of a woman forbidden, but – thanks to Abel Smith – not forgotten’ — Francesca Carington, TATLER
Venue: Layer Marney Tower, Near Colchester, Essex, CO5 9US
Date and time: Sunday 26th June, 11.00am
Tickets: £14 (includes entrance to Layer Marney Tower, usually £10)
Ticket deal: All three History Day events for £36, including entrance to Layer Marney. The discount will be applied at checkout when all three History Day events have ben added to the basket.
Box Office: Buy online or via Mercury Theatre, 01206 573948
11.00am Julia Abel Smith – Forbidden Wife
4.00pm Andrew Lownie – Traitor King
On the night of 4 April 1793, two lovers were preparing to compel a cleric to perform a secret ceremony. The wedding of the sixth son of King George III to the daughter of the Earl of Dunmore would not only be concealed – it would also be illegal.
Lady Augusta Murray had known Prince Augustus Frederick for only three months but they had already fallen deeply in love and were desperate to be married. However, the Royal Marriages Act forbade such a union without the King’s permission and going ahead with the ceremony would change Augusta’s life forever.
From a beautiful socialite she became a social pariah; her children were declared illegitimate and her family was scorned.
In Forbidden Wife, Julia Abel Smith uses material from the Royal Archives and the Dunmore family papers to create a dramatic biography set in the reigns of Kings George III and IV against the background of the American and French Revolutions.
Julia Abel Smith is a graduate of Cambridge University with a degree in History of Art, which she has used in a long career with The Landmark Trust and more recently with Art UK. It was while writing a history album for The Pineapple Folly that Julia happened across Augusta’s story and decided to research her biography. She has written for Country Life and House & Garden magazines, and is the author of Augusta’s entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. She lives in Essex.
You can follow Julia on Twitter @jabelsmith