Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Ungrateful Daughters

Ungrateful Daughters

The Stuart Princesses Who Stole Their Father's Crown

Maureen Waller

St. Martin's Press



In 1688, the birth of a Prince of Wales ignited a family quarrel and a revolution. James II's drive towards Catholicism had alienated the nation and his two staunchly Protestant daughters by his first marriage, Mary and Anne. They are the 'ungrateful daughters' who usurped their father's crown and stole their brother's birthright.

Seven prominent men sent an invitation to William of Orange---James' nephew and son-in-law---to intervene in English affairs. But it was the women, Queen Mary Beatrice and her two stepdaughters, Mary and Anne, who played a key role in this drama. Jealous and resentful of her hated stepmother, Anne had written a series of malicious letters to her sister Mary in Holland, implying that the Queen's pregnancy was a hoax, a Catholic plot to deny Mary her rightful inheritance.

Betrayed by those he trusted, distraught at Anne's defection, James fled the kingdom. Even as the crown descended on her head, Mary knew she had incurred a father's curse. The sisters quarreled and were still not speaking to each other when Mary died tragically young. Anne did nothing to deserve her father's forgiveness, declaring her brother an outlaw with a price on his head.

Acclaimed historian Maureen Waller recreated the late Stuart era in a compelling narrative that highlights the influence of three women in one of the most momentous events in English history. Prompted by religious bigotry and the emotion that beset any family relationships, this palace coup changed the face of the monarchy, and signaled the end of a dynasty.


Praise for Ungrateful Daughters

“Waller makes an enthralling family saga out of the Glorious Revolution.... Stimulating and enjoyable.” —Antonia Fraser, bestselling author of Marie Antionette

“Richly illuminating...this is history at its most enjoyable and personal, narrated with brio, based on solid research, and brought to life with the social detail at which Waller excels.” —The London Times

“Waller's voice is appealing, and her opinions as spirited as they are intelligent. Her light style and sense of drama are so compelling that you hardly notice her scholarship. Ungrateful Daughters is a wonderful book.” —The New Statesman [U.K.]

“The historical facts of the story are well known, but it is Maureen Waller's treatment of the personal aspects of the betrayal, based on the letters which the chief participants wrote at the time, which gives it poignancy.... Fascinating.” —The Spectator [U.K.]

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

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 stint 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 currently lives in London with her husband, who is a journalist and author.

Maureen Waller

Maureen Waller

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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