Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Queen Anne: The Politics Of Passion

Anne ruled England from 1702-1714. She had 17 pregnancies, and none of the children she gave birth to lived past age eleven. The throne passed to the Hanoverians, who were the next in line for the throne that were not Catholic, or married to a Catholic. England still lived in fear of being under Catholic rule.

Anne had little education, leaving her unprepared in that aspect to be queen. She was more reclusive, preferring to spend time with those few she was close to and felt she could trust. Despite this, she made an effort to do her duty, appearing at social functions she had no desire to attend. Anne was not an admired queen like Elizabeth I. Perhaps that is why we hear so little about her, even though she was part of the Glorious Revolution, The Act of Union, and The War of Spanish Succession.

I received this copy from the Goodreads First Reads Program.* I was very pleased to win a copy as it was a book I wanted to read, and I really enjoy Anne Somerset's books. She seems to have written a different perspective of Queen Anne than the Duchess of Marlborough, who was a close friend of Anne's until she became queen and they grew apart because of the Duchess' behavior. She wrote terrible things in her memoirs about the queen that Somerset often contradicts in her book. Somerset does not try to make Anne perfect, but appears to be more balanced than the Duchess of Marlborough. I look forward to reading the Duchess' memoirs to form my own opinion of them.

I really like Somerset's style of writing. She portrays the numerous facts in an engaging manner. I was excited to learn more about this period, which leads to the change of dynasty from Stuart to Hanoverian. I knew very little about the change in dynasty, and was interested to see Anne's role in and perspective of the change. I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to people interested in women rulers, or that period in history.

* Goodreads does not require a review or stipulate what kind of review should be given if you are inclined to review the book. It was simply part of a promotional event for their book. Winning this book does not change my review. It merely provides me with a book I would not have read, or gotten to as soon.

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