Although 1759 is not a date as well known in British history as 1215, 1588 or 1688, there is a strong case to be made that it is the most significant year since 1066. In the two great battles of 1759, Britain effectively beat France for global supremacy and founded the first British Empire. From the almost uninterrupted series of victories that year came momentous consequences- victory in the East, in India and the Phillippines, led in turn to the colonisation of Australia and New Zealand; victory in North America secured Canada for the Empire and, by removing the French, created the conditions which inspired American rebellion. Until now, the story of the causes and consequences of the Seven Years War (1756-63) has been largely obscured. As Thackery famously remarked in "Barry Lyndon", it owuld take a theologian, rahter than an historian, to unravel the true causes. Drawing on a mass of primary materials - from text in the Vatican archives to oral histories of the North American Indians - Frank McLynn shows how the conflict between Britain and France triggered the first 'world war', raging from Europe to Africa; the Caribbean to the Pacific; the palins of the Ganges to the G
Frank McLynn is currently Visiting Professor in the Department of Literature at Strathclyde University. A full-time writer, his most recent books include Napoleon, 1066, Villa and Zapata, Wagons West and Stanley, all published by Cape and Pimlico.