George II (Penguin Monarchs)
George II, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Elector of Hanover, came to Britain for the first time when he was 31. He had a terrible relationship with his father George I, which was later paralleled by his relationship to his own son. He was short-tempered and uncultivated, but in his twenty-three-year reign he presided over a great flourishing in his adoptive country - economic, military and cultural - all described with characteristic wit and elegance by Norman Davies. (George II so admired the Hallelujah chorus in Handel's Messiah that he stood while it was being performed - as modern audiences still do.) Much of his attention remained in Hanover and on continental politics, as a result of which he was the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle at Dettingen in 1744.
Norman Davies was for many years a professor at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London University. He is the author of the acclaimed Vanished Kingdoms and the number one bestseller Europe: A History. His previous books, which include Rising '44, The Isles: A History and God's Playground: A History of Poland, have been translated worldwide. He has researched at universities from Harvard to Hokkaido, and is a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and a visiting scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge.