The Two Georges was a painting made by Thomas Gainsborough in the 1760s, depicting North American colonial leader George Washington being presented to King George III of Britain, and commemorating the accord that averted a revolution by Britain's North American colonies. In the background were a number of prominent people of the day including some who were not actually at the ceremony. Among them were: William Pitt, the then Prime Minister; Lord North, Pitt's successor as Prime Minister; Benjamin Franklin; Samuel Adams; the Duke of Newcastle, First Lord of the Treasury; George Grenville; Sir Philip Francis; John Wilkes; and Gainsborough himself. Neither Wilkes nor Gainsborough were actually present at the event depicted.
On 15 June 1995, the painting was touring the North American Union when it was stolen in New Liverpool by the militant separatist group, the Sons of Liberty and ransomed for fifty million pounds. Colonel Thomas Bushell and Captain Samuel Stanley of the Royal American Mounted Police trekked across the continent in pursuit of the thieves, finally arriving in Victoria and recovering the painting from a storage bin at Adler Cubicles, an hour before King-Emperor Charles III's arrival.
However, the painting had been booby-trapped with a bomb, designed to go off during Charles III's speech at the All-Union Art Museum. Bushell and Stanley deduced the truth, and arrived just in time to disarm the bomb and save the king.
Literary comment[edit | edit source]
The cover of one edition of The Two Georges shows a painting of George Washington and George III, but this is for the purpose of marketing the book, and does not resemble the painting described in the novel. The fictional painting is described as showing a large gathering of men, and seems to resemble John Trumbull's famous painting of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence in OTL.