Queen Anne; The politics of passion – Anne Somerset

I’m not entirely sure how to start this review.  I started reading this book during the Christmas break and have read 36 other books whilst reading it.  It isn’t that it’s a particularly dull book but it hasn’t grabbed my attention either.

Before I started I didn’t know much about Queen Anne.  I knew who she was, whose daughter and sister she was but most of the rest I knew was from reading Jean Plaidy’s book, The Queen’s Favourites.

This book puts Queen Anne in context; what was happening in the wider European world, the intrigues in France to put her father and then her half-brother on the throne and the War of Spanish Succession.  One can also see the development of party politics in England and Britain, once the Act of Union was passed.

I think the author tries to give a balanced view of Anne as not the cleverest or most educated monarch but a monarch who genuinely tried to do her best for her country. But overall I got the sense of a person who was stubborn and determined yet could be unduly swayed by people in her inner circle.

And of her inner circle the people who come across as having the most interesting – if not necessarily nice – characters are the Duke & Duchess of Marlborough.  Definitely a couple I want to read more about!

Overall, whilst this book is filled with a lot of facts it didn’t bring the majority of characters to life or really give me a living sense of the social upheavals that were taking place in Britain at this time.  Parts of it were interesting enough to keep me reading but there were too many bits that didn’t and why I picked up other books to read along the way.  I probably won’t choose to read another book by this author.

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