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William III, the Stadholder-King: A Political Biography Hardcover – May 28, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought Troost presented an unbiased judgment in his assessment of William's involvement in the gruesome murder of the de Witt brothers. Troost states that "the Prince wanted to teach the brothers De Witt a lesson, but he did not foresee the consequences of publishing the letter. Given his youth, he cannot be blamed too harshly, but the fact remains that he shared in the guilt for the death of the brothers." It is easy to forget that William was only 21 at the time of the murder, and I agree he didn't foresee the actual consequences of publishing Charles II's letter where he promised to use his influence with King Louis on behalf of the Dutch people and the Prince once de Witt and his party were removed from power. Even now, more than 300 years later, I find it hard to believe people reacted with such murderous and savage fury. It is also true that William must be held accountable for his share in the murders.
Troost's chapters on William's reign in Scotland and in Ireland were also very interesting since usually only the Glencoe massacre and William's campaign against his father-in-law/uncle in 1690 are discussed when Scotland and Ireland are mentioned. One wishes the Protestants of Northern Ireland would read the chapter on Ireland.
I was only disappointed once and that was with Troost's discussion of William's supposed homosexuality. I did not find his arguments that William was homosexual more persuasive than the earlier arguments of Baxter or Robb that he was not, particularly since Troost has to admit there is no absolute proof William was homosexual, just as there is no absolute proof he was not. William kept his private life private, so historians are never going to know the truth about that aspect of his life.
I can highly recommend this book to anyone interested in European history during the latter half of the seventeenth century.