The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by a reduction in Penal Laws against Catholics harking back to the 16th century. Fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'.
Yet, had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', or were they the prime movers?
Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to this vivid drama with its huge cast of characters, including George III, the Prince of Wales, Lady Conyngham, Lord Wellington, Sir Robert Peel, 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea and the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, The King and Catholics stands as a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.