Amphibious Thing: The Life of Lord Hervey by Mrs Lucy Moore
Lord Hervey was one of the most controversial figures of the Georgian age. The consummate courtier - strikingly handsome, elegant and witty - he was both the favourite of the Queen and right-hand man to Walpole. Painted by Hogarth, satirized by Fielding and Pope, and confidant of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Hervey counted among his friends and enemies some of the most brilliant men and women of the age. Yet for all his hard-won public fame, there was a scandalous private side to Hervey. He was certainly a rake (rumour had it that he shared a mistress with the Prince of Wales), but such behaviour was quite normal among the 18th-century aristocracy. Less usual, however, was his ten-year affair with another man. From the outset, Hervey was fascinated by Stephen Fox. His engaging, delightfully witty letters reveal the depth of their passion for one another, and the lengths to which they were driven in order to escape detection. Finally, theirs became an open secret, one of many factors that was to contribute to Hervey's downfall. In this biography, Lucy Moore brings to life an entire age, with its shimmering artifice and its poisonous deceit, its highly wrought melodrama and its grand passions.