|Pages/Publication Date:||342 / 2017|
Becoming a Gentleman of the Royal Bedchamber in 1615, the young George Villiers enraptured James, Britain's first Stuart king, with such an intensity that the king declared he wanted the courtier to become his "wife." For a decade, Villiers was at the king's side—at court, on state occasions, and in bed—right up to James's death in March 1625. Immediately, Villiers's many enemies accused him of poisoning the king; an investigation was launched, but the charges came to nothing. Citing new research, Benjamin Woolley suggests that Villiers did indeed kill the man who made him, either by accident or—frustrated by James's passive approach to government—for political reasons.