By: Justin McCarthy (1830-1912)
Anne Stuart , Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, succeeded William III to the throne in 1702. She was the daughter of the deposed Catholic king, James II, but was of the Anglican faith. Liberal, Irish member of Parliament, Justin McCarthy, writing in 1902, creates in sparkling, uncluttered prose a panoramic canvas of Anne and her times. In the second of the two volumes, McCarthy describes the Battle of Malplaquet, where Marlborough meets the French in "a contest of hand-to-hand fighting on a gigantic scale." Then follows "the darkest chapter in the record of Queen Anne's reign," as a parliamentary conspiracy, headed by Bolingbroke, topples Marlborough from power. From Parliament we move to London's coffee houses where Londoners gather to read the "Spectator" and where, in 1714, they anxiously await news of the dying Queen. Scarcely has George I ascended his throne, when Jacobites at home and abroad begin to plot a Stuart Restoration under the son of the ousted James.