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In 1688, the birth of a Prince of Wales ignited a family quarrel-and a revolution. James II's drive towards Catholicism had alienated the nation and his two staunchly Protestant daughters by his first marriage, Mary and Anne, the "ungrateful daughters" who eventually usurped their father's crown and stole their half-brother's birthright.
Seven prominent men sent an invitation to William of Orange-James's nephew and son-in-law-to intervene in English affairs. But Mary and Anne also played a key role. Jealous and resentful of her hated stepmother, Anne had written a series of malicious letters to Mary in Holland, implying that the Queen's pregnancy was a hoax-a Catholic plot to deny Mary her rightful inheritance.
Distraught from being betrayed by his own children, James fled the kingdom. And even as the crown descended on her head, Mary knew she had incurred a father's curse. The sisters quarreled to the day of Mary's death at age 32. Anne did nothing to earn her father's forgiveness, and she declared her brother an outlaw with a price on his head.
Acclaimed historian Maureen Waller re-creates the late Stuart era in a compelling narrative that highlights the influence of the royal women on one of the most momentous events in English history. Prompted by religious bigotry and the emotions that beset every family relationship, this palace coup changed the face of the monarchy, and signaled the end of a dynasty.
Maureen Waller was educated at University College London, where she studied medieval and modern history. She received a master's degree at Queen Mary College, London, in British and European history 1660--1714. After a brief stint at the National Portrait Gallery, she went on to work as an editor at several prestigious London publishing houses. Her first book was the highly acclaimed 1700: Scenes from London Life. Her other books include Sovereign Ladies: The Six Reigning Queens of England and Ungrateful Daughters: The Stuart Princesses Who Stole Their Father's Crown. She currently lives in London with her husband, who is a journalist and author.
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 02/20/2004 - 12:00am
On Sale: 02/20/2004 - 12:00am
History / Europe / Great Britain / Stuart Era (1603-1714)