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Historians and doctors have been writing about the “madness” of George III since before the king’s death in 1820 up until the present day. This paper explores the dynamics of this debate – in particular the interactions of medical historians and clinicians with on the one hand political and social historians and on the other with wider public discussion around books and other cultural responses to the king’s illness, notably on the stage and screen, and above all Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III. What emerges is far from a simple story of more accurate diagnoses and new archival discoveries.

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