Although he was forced out of power in the 'Glorious Revolution' within four years of succeeding to the throne, James II had an impact far greater than his brief and notorious reign would suggest. This new look at James II examines his complex and intriguing character, and analyses his policies, together with their results in all his realms to offer a balanced new portrait of an unpopular monarch. The book looks at: his attitudes towards his Scottish subjects, first as Duke of York, then as King James VII his dealings with his Irish subjects, as king regnant and as an exiled monarch to his defeat at the battle of the Boyne his relations with the American colonies, from his proprietorship of New York to the Glorious Revolution. The controversy about his aims - whether he simply sought toleration for fellow catholics or to establish absolute monarchy - are thus put into perspective, with the colonial dimension showing that he had political ambitions independent of his religions aspirations. W. A. Speck is Visiting Professor, University of Northumbria
W. A. Speck's books include Literature and Society in Eighteenth Century England (Longman, 1998).