In 1688, the birth of a Prince of Wales ignited a family quarrel—and a revolution. James II's drive toward Catholicism had alienated the nation—and his staunchly Protestant daughters by his first marriage, Mary and Anne, the "ungrateful daughters" who eventually usurped their father's crown and stole their half brother's birthright.
Seven prominent men sent an invitation to William of Orange, James's nephew and son-in-law, to intervene in English affairs. But Mary and Anne also played a key role. Jealous and resentful of her hated stepmother, Anne had written a series of malicious letters to Mary in Holland, implying that the Queen's pregnancy was a hoax—a Catholic plot to deny Mary her rightful inheritance.
Acclaimed historian Maureen Waller re-creates the late Stuart era in a compelling narrative that highlights the influence of the royal women on one of the most momentous events in English history. Prompted by religious bigotry and the emotions that beset every family relationship, this palace coup changed the face of the monarchy, and signaled the end of a dynasty.