Menu
 
 
Home | Books | The Sailor King: The Life of King William IV

The Sailor King: The Life of King William IV

By Tom Pocock

Of all the British monarchs who have claimed they ruled the seas, just one, King William IV, has been a truly professional seafarer.

Known as the ‘Sailor King’ in his own lifetime, he saw himself as a naval officer who happened to become the sovereign, rather than a monarch who had been a naval officer.

His life – here told as a whole, rather than dominated by his short reign – presents an appealing, if sometimes shocking, personality. William bounds from these pages like a character from an historical novel, albeit comic rather than heroic; from Captain Marryat rather than C. S. Forester.

His career in the Royal Navy was fraught with crisis: rivalries, doomed love affairs, extravagance and rebelliousness. Often, he seems a Hogarthian character, or a nautical version of the Regency rake. 

Yet, while many mocked or despised him, some loved him. Overcoming the pressures and contradictions of a royal upbringing, William ended his days as a king who was not only loved but admired for setting an unstable monarchy on an even keel for the long reign of his niece, Victoria.

 
 
 
Contact Lume Books | Lume Books
 

Say Hello

Learn more about how to contact us.

This site uses cookies.
ConfigureHide Options
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.