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William and Mary: A History of Their Most Important Places and Events (Hardback)

P&S History

By Deborah Fisher
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 20 mono
ISBN: 9781399075619
Published: 31st July 2024

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William and Mary, Britain’s most mysterious monarchs, were married for reasons of dynastic convenience. Their union gradually developed into a happy and successful one, despite William’s frequent absences on military campaign. They shared interests such as art and gardening, both of which they practised at their palace retreat, Het Loo. Despite the fact that Mary was heir presumptive to her father, the Duke of York, they might have expected to remain in the Netherlands for the rest of their lives.

Midway through their marriage, their way of life changed substantially when Mary’s father, now King James II, was rejected by his English and Scottish subjects because of his fervent Catholicism. William, a foreigner, was accepted as a replacement primarily because of his British queen. The couple had Kensington Palace built, to a design by Sir Christopher Wren, and their renovations at Hampton Court Palace, also by Wren, gave the palace much of its present character.

The monarchy was now fully answerable to Parliament, but wives were still generally subservient to their husbands. William and Mary ruled jointly for only seven years, with Mary working conscientiously to maintain order in the country during her husband’s absences. William continued to reign alone for only a further seven years after Mary’s death. Their fourteen years on the throne were critical ones in the history of the British Isles, and the world of William and Mary was one that in many ways would be recognisable to us today.

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About Deborah Fisher

Deborah Fisher is a retired librarian and IT practitioner who now lives in the Vale of Glamorgan and concentrates on historical and literary research. Her past publications include Who’s Who in Welsh History (1997), Princesses of Wales (2005), Princes of Wales (2006), Royal Wales (2010) and Siegfried Sassoon at the Grave of Henry Vaughan (2015). She is the Chair of the Barbara Pym Society, based at St Hilda's College, Oxford, where Deborah and Barbara Pym both studied.

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