Good Queen Anne; Appraising the Life and Reign of the Last Stuart Monarch
Of the few women who have ruled England in their own right, Queen Anne is least known and most under-valued. Yet, her brief reign saw the small island nation off the coast of continental Europe rise from internal chaos to global might.
Anne Stuart’s story starts with a clandestine marriage -- between her royal father and commoner mother; her birth greeted as a letdown due to her sex; her youth at a court famous for immorality and intrigue; her happy marriage to a handsome prince. Plots aplenty, a secret midnight flight, persecution, and ill-health culminated in a crown and a glorious reign.
Anne ascended the British throne at the dawn of a new century. Her subjects hailed the advent of their first fully English monarch in a hundred years. Secure in the knowledge that Anne’s patriotism, her devotion to the national (Protestant) religion, and concern for her people would guide her decisions, Britons gave Their Queen the ultimate tribute. They termed the twelve stormy years of her rule The Age of Anne. . .
Florence Nightingale; Feminist
Most people have heard of Florence Nightingale. Not all know why. And if they do, ‘nurse’ or ‘Crimean war’ can scarcely be expected to generate excitement.
Born into Victorian Britain’s elite, intelligent, attractive, and charming, desired by several eligible suitors, center of an admiring circle of friends, anchored in a loving family, young Florence yearned for freedom. Freedom to pursue her grail – to nurse the less fortunate. But daughters of her class did not nurse the poor and sick. Drunks and whores did.
Pitch-forked by chance into the Crimean War, (1854-1856) Nightingale brought order to the catastrophic chaos of British army hospitals. Nightly, while inspecting her four miles of wards, Florence ministered to thousands of patients; they revered ‘the lady with the lamp.’ Her war work made Nightingale an icon at age thirty-four, the only British hero of the war. . .
Dorothea Lieven; A Russian Princess in London and Paris, 1785-1857
Born into an exhilarating world of power and privilege at Riga, capital of the Russian Empire’s Baltic provinces; brought up at St. Petersburg’s Romanov court; closely connected to three tsars, the mesmerizing, ambitious Dorothea used her brilliance and charisma to succeed in a male-dominated world. She exerted incredible influence in the diplomatic councils of France, Great Britain, and Russia during the dramatic years that followed the French Revolution.
Contemporaries like Prince Metternich, the Duke of Wellington, and Prince Talleyrand respected Dorothea Lieven’s importance. Yet, posterity ignored her crucial role in the birth of modern Greece, and overlooked her notable contribution to the creation of today’s Belgium. Proof of Dorothea’s vital role as an unofficial liaison between combatants during the Crimean War, slept peacefully in archives.
Dorothea Lieven sheds new light on the princess. Scrupulous archival research allows the author to examine Dorothea as . . .