James II / Edition 3

James II / Edition 3

by John Miller
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Yale University Press
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James II / Edition 3

James II (1633–1701) lacked the charisma of his father, Charles I, but shared his tendency to dismiss the views of others when they differed from his own. Failing to understand his subjects, James was also misunderstood by them. In this highly-regarded biography, John Miller reassesses James II and his reign, drawing on a wide array of primary sources from France, Italy, and Ireland as well as England. Miller argues that the king had many laudable attributes—he was brave, loyal, honorable, and hard-working, and he was at least as benevolent toward his people as his father had been. Yet James’s conversion to Catholicism fueled the distrust of his Protestant subjects who placed the worst possible construction on his actions and statements. Although James came to see the securing of religious freedom for Catholics in the wider context of freedom for all religious minorities, his people naturally doubted the sincerity of his commitment to toleration.

The book explores James’s relations with the state and society, focusing on the political, diplomatic, and religious issues that shaped his reign. Miller discusses the human failings, the gulf of understanding between the king and his subjects, and the sheer bad luck that led to James’s downfall. He also considers the reasons for James’s lack of interest in recovering his kingdom after his flight to France in 1688. This revised edition of the book includes a substantial new foreword assessing recent work on the reign.

“This is a first-class essay in historical biography. . . . It must displace all previous lives of James II.”—J. P. Kenyon, Observer

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300087284
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Series: The English Monarchs Series
Edition description: YALE ED.
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 996,875
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Yale Edition vi
Preface xv
Note on Spelling and Dates xviii
Childhood (1633--48)
Exile (1648--60)
England in 1660
Clarendon (1660--67)
Conversion (1668--72)
"A Popish Successor" (1673--79)
Brussels and Edinburgh (1679--82)
The Tory Revenge (1682--85)
The New King
King and Parliament (February to November 1685)
The King and the Judges (November 1685 to April 1687)
The King and the Dissenters (April 1687 to June 1688)
Invasion (July to December 1688)
Scotland and Ireland (1685--88)
The Road to the Boyne (1689--90)
Devotion, Disappointment and Death (1690--1701)
Appendix: Dicconson's Life of James II 243(3)
Abbreviations 246(2)
Notes 248(28)
Select Bibliography 276(4)
Index 280

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