© 2019

Queen Caroline and Sir William Gell

A Study in Royal Patronage and Classical Scholarship

  • Presents the first scholarly transcription of Queen Caroline’s letters to Sir William Gell

  • Offers the first substantial study of Sir William Gell and his scholarly achievements

  • Appeals to scholars of Regency political and cultural history, classical studies, and gender studies


Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. A Princess and Her Chamberlain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jason Thompson
      Pages 3-15
    3. Jason Thompson
      Pages 17-30
    4. Jason Thompson
      Pages 31-49
    5. Jason Thompson
      Pages 51-64
    6. Jason Thompson
      Pages 65-96
    7. Jason Thompson
      Pages 97-117
    8. Jason Thompson
      Pages 119-151
  3. Queen Caroline’s Letters to Sir William Gell

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Jason Thompson
      Pages 155-256
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 257-266

About this book


This book explores the relationship between Queen Caroline, one of the most enigmatic characters in Regency England, and Sir William Gell, the leading classical scholar of his day. Despised and rejected by her husband, Caroline created a sphere and court of her own through patronage of scholarship.  The primary beneficiary was Gell, a pioneering scholar of the classical world who opened new dimensions in the study of ancient Troy, mainland Greece, and Ithaca.  Despite his achievements, Gell had scarce financial resources.  Support from Caroline enabled him to establish himself in Italy and conduct his seminal work about ancient Rome and, especially, Pompeii, until her sensational trial before the House of Lords and premature death. Concluding with the first scholarly transcription of the extraordinary series of letters that Caroline wrote to Gell, this volume illuminates how Caroline sought power through patronage, and how Gell shaped classical scholarship in nineteenth-century Britain.


Caroline of Brunswick George IV Sir William Gell Regency historiography The Trial of Queen Caroline Regency political history Regency social history Queen Caroline's letters to Sir William Gell John Gardner Wilkinson classical studies royal patronage Act of Settlement classical scholarship

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Copper HillUSA

About the authors

Jason Thompson is a historian of the British Empire and the author of Sir Gardner Wilkinson and His Circle, A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present, and most recently, the three-volume Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Queen Caroline and Sir William Gell
  • Book Subtitle A Study in Royal Patronage and Classical Scholarship
  • Authors Jason Thompson
  • Series Title Queenship and Power
  • Series Abbreviated Title Queenship and Power
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-98007-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07437-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-98008-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIII, 266
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Britain and Ireland
    Intellectual Studies
    Cultural History
    Women's Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site