Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
This long but fascinating biography is a very thorough account of the life and times of Great Britain’s Queen Anne. I somehow knew almost nothing about this era, the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, but Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion convincingly presents it as pivotal. As the last Stuart monarch Anne’s birth was just after the overthrow of the Cromwells and the restoration of the monarchy. The Stuart line held the throne between the Tudors and the Hanover Georges that preceded Victoria, and it was during Anne’s reign that Great Britain came into being and The War of Spanish Succession changed the balance of power in Europe and its colonies. Though these actions had long lasting consequences other scholars have dismissed Anne’s role in them as unimportant. This book redeems her, detail by detail building the case that Anne’s influence played a major role in the direction of events.
I have close to zero interest in celebrity gossip and keeping up with contemporary royals has just about that amount of appeal for me, but I definitely got a gossipy--and then she did whaaaa!--type thrill reading this scholarly biography. Maybe that’s because histories can include the long view and that’s more fascinating than day to day trifles, or maybe it’s because back in the day royals had political power so their personal feuds, passionate obsessions, and religious beliefs had actual impact. The subtitle, The Politics of Passion, is apt. Though it deals mainly with royals and titled aristocrats the book tells a gripping human story of love, conviction, dilemma, and compromise.