Description

The story is told through firsthand accounts by the dramatis personae of all the machinations, plots, subterfuges, craft and wiles undertaken in bringing about His Royal Highness King George II’s firework spectacle of April 27, 1749 to celebrate the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. This was the great firework extravaganza for which Handel wrote his ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks.’ A wooden temple 410 feet in length was erected in the Green Park in London to act as the launching pad for several tons of rockets, mortars and fountains. French and Italian designers were employed, along with English artillerymen, and the resultant international friction almost led to disaster. The event was widely lampooned and criticized, and it was only through the relentless determination of John, 2nd Duke of Montagu that it was brought off at all. History records the event as a fiasco, but there are other sides to the story as told here. If it didn’t happen exactly as reported here, it ought to have.