The great drawing room, crammed full of courtiers, lies at the heart of the Georgian royal palace. Here the king mingles most evenings with guests, signalling welcome with a nod, and displeasure with a turned back. The winners and losers of the Georgian era- which runs from 1714 – 1830 with the reigns of Kings George I to IV – can calculate precisely how high they have climbed (or fallen) by the warmth of their reception at court.
The way in which armies and garrisons were recruited during the Hundred Years War ensured that when peace broke out in 1360 there were large numbers of soldiers, unemployed and without prospects, loose in the realm of France. These banded together, forming independent companies who made war on their own account, seeking to keep themselves fed and paid.
By the autumn of 48 BC, Pompey the Great’s ambitions were in ruins. He had been the most powerful man in Rome; but now, almost 60, he had seen it all slip away. His army smashed by rival Julius Caesar at the battle of Pharsalus, he was on the run across the Mediterranean. There was just one hope left; if he could win Egyptian support, Pompey thought, he might yet turn the war around.