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William and Mary: Heroes of the Glorious Revolution Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B01LZQPPUY
- Publisher : Sutton (June 1, 2008)
- Publication date : June 1, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 975 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 288 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #825,909 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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This is an important book about a critical period in English history. The author does a fluent and historically accurate job of explaining both the personal and political issues at stake. It is a book that does both William and Mary justice.
Top reviews from other countries
The author doesn't seek to glorify his subjects, he points out their flaws (more so - understandably - in Williams case). But he does succeed in highlighting that their era had a profound effect on shaping the country that we now come to know as Britain today.
It is a perfect introduction to William & Mary, not overloading with information, and each chapter is concisely laid out.
From the outside, William & Mary are not the most charismatic of figures, certainly when compared to the likes of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Charles II to name but a few. But they were also two of the most personal and most down to earth Monarchs we have ever had. Certainly for the Seventeenth Century.
They both loathed sycophancy, both hated pomp and ceremony, and were at their happiest when they were choosing delftware, porcelain and exotic flowers for their homes and gardens, or attending to church matters and pouring over state documents.
William, never the most handsome of men and never one to dress extravagantly, was afflicted with terrible asthma. Yet continually he was on the Battle field every year leading his army mostly against the French, sleeping on camp beds. Mary, who believed a woman's role was to support her husband, and suffered from chronic depression, won friends and admirers with her natural charm. And when called on to step in during William's absences, she did so with a natural ease that showed a firm ruler.
There are many policies we can date to the reign of William & Mary, the 'Bill or Rights' that saw power passed from Crown to Parliament, establishing the Constitutional Monarchy Britain has today. The Bank of England was formed. The 'Act of Succession' which established only Protestants could inherit the throne.
Not to mention the fascinating story of how William and Mary to the throne, the 'Glorious Revolution' which saw Mary's father James II overthrown. An act which behind closed doors caused Mary much heart ache and distress, but on the outside she was criticised for being cold and aloof.
William & Mary story is one that on the outside appears cold and dull, but scratch the surface and you have two very down to earth unassuming individuals placed in a unique position, who believed Monarchy was not just about 'divine right of Kings', and who shaped the Britain we know today.
Van Der Kiste does his subjects complete justice in this terrific, easily digestible biography of two of Britain's most underrated and undervalued Monarchs.
Fastforward to 1688. Again, Louis is poised to attack the Netherlands, again with help from England where the catholic James II rules. Rather than preventively flooding the Dutch water line & hiding behind the dikes, William borrows money from a rich jewish financier in Amsterdam, equips the largest fleet his country has ever assembled, embarks an elite army and invades England, kicking out James and patiently explaining the English how their true interest lies in allying with the Netherlands against the French - under his leadership. This first (and only) succesful invasion since 1066 is yet another example of William's incredible boldness.
William's impact on history is clearly enormous: he taught the English key skills like banking (which later helped them to outspend the French in any war), he stopped the French expansion and last but not least, he contributed materially to the demise of his own country of birth, The Netherlands, which simply was a size too small to participate in the European power struggle.
It is really a pity that so little is known about William the person. Unfortunately, this book does not help all that much. Both William and his wife Mary appear somewhat dull - I think in his case because he was such a closed person, and in her case most likely because she really was a bit dull.
This is not to say that this book is dull too - it is not. On the other hand, it could have been written a bit faster & more furiously. Still, recommended reading for anyone who wants to know more about this fascinating figure and his times.
I have read other works by this author and the standard is always extremely high.
William's role in English history has, I feel, always been underestimated, and this book definitely provides details into his life and goals that help to understand the entire chaotic period better.