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The History of England, from the Accession of James II - Volume 3

Thomas Babington Macaulay

Book Overview: 

Chapter 11 - William and Mary have been crowned and settle down to the task of ruling England. An endless succession of British noblemen jockey for position and all feel frustration at Williams’ preference for his own countrymen in positions of resonsibility in the British government and armed forces.

Chapter 12 - Much of this chapter is taken up with the affairs of Ireland during the reign of James II. The Protestants and Catholics are having their usual disagreements and James is putting his pieces in place in an attempt to use the Irish to consolidate his own rather shaky position.

Chapter 13 - This chapter traces the history of the Glorious Revolution in Scotland, including the reaction of the country's religious parties, the installment of William and Mary, and the campaigns of the Highland Army.

Chapter 14 - He sees the accession of William and Mary (Dutch, Protestant royalty) to the British throne as a key moment in the history of the British Isles.

Chapter 15 - This volume covers part of the reign of William and Mary including the beginning of the War with Ireland.

Chapter 16 -

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Of all the retinue, none was so odious to the people of Great Britain as Melfort. He was an apostate: he was believed by many to be an insincere apostate; and the insolent, arbitrary and menacing language of his state papers disgusted even the Jacobites. He was therefore a favourite with his master: for to James unpopularity, obstinacy, and implacability were the greatest recommendations that a statesman could have.

What Frenchman should attend the King of England in the character of ambassador had been the subject of grave deliberation at Versailles. Barillon could not be passed over without a marked slight. But his selfindulgent habits, his want of energy, and, above all, the credulity with which he had listened to the professions of Sunderland, had made an unfavourable impression on the mind of Lewis. What was to be done in Ireland was not work for a trifler or a dupe. The agent of France in that kingdom must be equal to much more than the ordinary functions. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The rise and fall of James II, as Macaulay tells it, has the weight of a tragedy, except nobody has to die. I think Macaulay is right in speaking of it as very much to the credit of the English nation.

The second volume of the work deals in great detail with the three year reign of James II and ends with his ouster at the hands of William and Mary. Much effort is spent to convince the reader of James' tyrannical intentions and thereby establish the legitimacy of William and Mary's revolution. The

Easily one of the best history books I've ever read -- Macaulay's History of England isn't only useful to Americans for understanding the development of our civil rights, but a masterpiece of literature and an exciting read to boot. The last chapter on struggles with Ireland was especially relevant,