An absorbing narrative of the Glorious Revolution” The New York Times
“Waller, using Stuart family letters and an impressive array of secondary sources, has written a highly readable, thoroughly researched family saga that shows vividly how the personal and the political interacted to produce one of the seminal events in British history.” Publishers Weekly
“A stirring and important story....Colorful period details and vivid portraits of legendary figures like the great Duke of Marlborough: lively, instructive history.” Kirkus Reviews
“Waller makes an enthralling family saga out of the Glorious Revolution....[Ungrateful Daughters] is stimulating and enjoyable.” Antonia Fraser, bestselling author of Marie Antoinette
In November 1688, the Protestant Prince William of Orange landed in England with an invading Dutch army. The Catholic King of Britain, James II, prepared to meet William in battle, but the unpopular James soon found himself deserted by his army and navy-and, most surprisingly, by his own daughters. Crestfallen, James fled to France, and William became king. This "Glorious Revolution," London-based historian Waller (1700: Scenes from London Life) tells us, was largely the product of a family feud. James's eldest daughter, Mary, was married to William, who was also James's nephew. James's other daughter, Anne, also defected to William. Why did both daughters betray their father at his hour of greatest need? Waller believes it was partly religion-the fervently Catholic James had failed to convert his Protestant daughters and nation. Moreover, Princess Anne loathed her Catholic stepmother, Queen Mary Beatrice. When the queen became pregnant in late 1687, Anne claimed the pregnancy was a papist hoax. As for Mary, she supported her husband, William, and her Anglican faith. Neither Mary nor Anne had children, and Anne eventually became the last Stuart monarch. Waller, using Stuart family letters and an impressive array of secondary sources, has written a highly readable, thoroughly researched family saga that shows vividly how the personal and the political interacted to produce one of the seminal events in British history. 16 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Waller (1700: Scenes from London Life) re-creates the political intrigues and machinations of the "duplicitous" daughters of James II, which resulted in the Glorious Revolution and the end of the Stuart dynasty in England. Dominant in the five-page listing of the "cast of characters" in this narrative double biography are Princess Mary of Orange, later Queen Mary II, and Princess Anne of Denmark, later Queen Anne. Neither Mary nor Anne "expressed remorse" for the part they played in the plots "to end their father's Catholic tyranny." Waller concludes that "James's daughters...had a far greater sense of political reality than he did. They had done what they believed was right for their kingdoms and the Protestant religion....They had presided over the painful transition from the turbulence of the seventeeth to the stability of the eighteenth century, heralding a more tolerant society, an age of booming commerce when Great Britain finally took its place as a great power in the world." Waller's fluent narrative is solidly grounded, with an eight-page bibliography (including material from the Royal Library and the Royal Archives at Windsor) and 32 pages of notes. A 16-page photo insert-with reproductions of paintings from the Royal Collection-makes a significant visual contribution. Recommended for academic and all public libraries.-Robert C. Jones, Warrensburg, MO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Densely detailed biographies of the Protestant sisters who betrayed their Catholic father James to become queens of England. Unnecessarily repetitive as she initially describes in extensive outline events and figures later repeated in more closely examined sections, British historian Waller (1700: Scenes from London Life, 2000, etc.) nonetheless tells a stirring and important story. Important, because it reminds us that 17th-century Europe too was plagued by seemingly intractable religious differences: conflict between Protestants and Catholics caused the devastating Thirty Year’s War, ended religious toleration in France (where the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685), and brought exile for England’s Catholic King James II. Waller begins with the birth in 1688 of a healthy son to James and his second wife. Fearing that this birth secured the monarchy and the country for Catholicism, English Protestants invited James’ elder daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, to invade England and become King and Queen. The author then circles back to tell the story of James’s first wife, mother of Mary and Anne, his second marriage to an Italian princess, and his flight to France. James was a loving father, but his devoutly Anglican daughters became alarmed as they saw him working to restore Catholic domination. Anne, married to a Danish prince, deliberately passed on rumors that her father’s baby was not his own and that the queen had never been pregnant. James fled, deeply hurt by the treachery of his offspring. Mary became a much loved figure during her brief reign, Anne succeeded her in 1694, and upon Anne’s death in 1714, the English crown passed to James I’s German (andProtestant) great-grandson, George I. The daughters’ actions ultimately secured the throne for Anglicanism, prevented civil war, and strengthened parliamentary democracy. Colorful period details (Mary introduced chintz and blue china) and vivid portraits of legendary figures like the great Duke of Marlborough: lively, instructive history.