Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book looks at the marriage of Anne's sister Mary to William of Orange and her own marriage to the compatible, amiable and devoted Prince George of Denmark. There is a terrible and tragic account of births, miscarriages, stillbirths, phantom pregnancies and early deaths. Anne herself endured pregnancy after pregnancy in her attempt to produce a healthy child and, when her father's wife had a healthy son, she was so horrified that she clung with desperate belief to the rumours that the baby was an imposter who had been smuggled into the palace in a warming pan.
During the whole of this book there is political turmoil, much related to the issue of the succession.Read more ›
Very glad I did, though. Anne Somerset takes us from James II's near-disastrous marriage to Anne Hyde (a commoner), the mother of Queen Mary and Queen Anne, to the Glorious Revolution, through the strained relationship between Mary and Anne, and then to Anne's own ascension to the throne.
There's so much detail that it is a little overwhelming (did I mention that it took me forever to finish?), but if you want to understand Whig/Tory politics, the crazy relationship Anne had with the Duchess of Marlborough, and the nuts and bolts of the British involvement in the War of Spanish Succession, this is the book.
I can't recommend the text of the book enough. My only complaint is the notes are extremely disappointing (this would be a 4.5 star review, if I could). I love good, gossipy, annotated endnotes in a history, to lead me on to new and interesting books. Here, there are citations, sure, but they're all abbreviations and they look like they're in code.
If you could answer this question off the top of your head, then "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din."
I was reading a biography of Daniel Defoe when it was mentioned that he was a spy for Queen Anne sent to Scotland prior to the melding of England and Scotland to create Great Britain. It was then that I asked myself that question. As a Canadian who had been subjected in grade school to British history, I scoured the depths of memory. The only Queen Anne I could recall was Anne Boleyn, and this was a century and a half after that poor lady had literally lost her head to the whim of an outrageously cruel king.
My next stop was to Wikipedia, where I read a short biography of Queen Anne. Then I proceeded directly to Amazon and purchased Anne Somerset's superb biography of this queen. (All in 15 minutes: don't you just adore the Internet?)
Here is what I learned. Anne reigned from 1702 until her death in 1714. She was sister-in-law to William of Orange (William III) and sister of the monarch's wife, Mary. During Anne's short reign, England and Scotland were united as Great Britain; Winston Churchill's great ancestor, The Duke of Marlborough, more or less won the battle of the Spanish Succession (it's complicated); Daniel Defoe and Jonathon Swift were active members of her team and Frederick Handel wrote the music to 2 of her birthday odes, for which she awarded him a pension of 200 pounds; Britain was triumphant in the Treaty of Utrecht, which brought a somewhat settlement after the War of Spanish Succession, and began Britain's reign of world domination; and Britain clung tenaciously to dominance of the lucrative slave trade.Read more ›
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