I’ve been intrigued by the story of Peter the Wild Boy ever since I first came across him four years ago.
It was during a writing project, a collaboration between Kensington Palace and Kensington Central Library, which gave me the time to ramble around the palace.
There, on the Queen’s staircase, among the portraits of courtiers painted in 1727, was a wild-haired boy who held an oak twig, standing beside his tutor, an older man with a walking stick. Who were they?
The boy was Peter, a feral child discovered in woods in Germany in the mid-1720s and brought to Kensington Palace as a sort of pet-plus-experiment. The man was Dr John Arbuthnot, the physician, mathematician, satirist and friend of Swift, Pope, Gay and Handel. And I knew. That was my story.
So I’m thrilled to have won two tickets to see Catherine Curzon, royal historian, self-confessed Georgian ginbag and purveyor of Twitter delights under the monicker of @MadameGilflurt, giving a talk about Peter.
She’s speaking at the Stamford Georgian Festival, and tomorrow I’m off to this charming Lincolnshire town for her talk and an afternoon of lunch with friends, sightseeing and general Georgianity.
I’ll be writing more about John Arbuthnot on this blog. He’s the husband of my protagonist, Peggy, who you’ll also meet. I hope you’ll like them as much as I do.