Ungrateful Daughters The Stuart Princesses Who Stole Their Father's Crown

Maureen Waller

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

480 Pages


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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.


Praise for Ungrateful Daughters

"An absorbing narrative of the Glorious Revolution."—The New York Times

"Waller makes an enthralling family saga out of the Glorious Revolution . . . [Ungrateful Daughters] is stimulating and enjoyable."—Antonia Fraser, bestselling author of Marie Antoinette

"Waller, using Stuart family letters and an impressive array of secondary sources, has written a highly readable, thoroughly researched family saga that shows vividly how the personal and the political interacted to produce one of the seminal events in British history."—Publishers Weekly

"A stirring and important story . . . Colorful period details and vivid portraits of legendary figures like the great Duke of Marlborough: lively, instructive history."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Maureen Waller

  • Maureen Waller was educated at University College London, where she studied medieval and modern history. She received a master's degree at Queen Mary College, London, in British and European History 1660-1714. After a brief stay at the National Portrait Gallery, she went on to work as an editor at several prestigious London publishing houses. Her first book was the highly acclaimed 1700: Scenes from London Life. She lives in London with her husband, who is a journalist and author.

  • Maureen Waller