The King Over the Water
A Complete History of the Jacobites
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Highly readable, with brilliantly rendered characters, and thrilling tales of deceit and espionage. Seward writes of the Jacobites from a sympathetic point of view. Yet he does not shy away from the fact that, the Jacobites were never seriously in with a chance of restoring their rule
Military History Monthly
Those with an interest in such matters will be delighted to read historian Desmond Seward’s new book. It sets theStuarts’ story in context – chronologically, constitutionally, politically, religiously and regionally’
Seward demonstrates that the Jacobites were a multi-faceted and multinational bunch, united by a common vision of an alternative future. Swift and cinematic, with neatly sketched character portraits
Seward's detailed descriptions of the Princes, Princesses, Kings and Queens create a sense of theatre and allow the reader to fully immerse themselves into the dramatic events of the period ... an engaging and easy read, perfect for emerging history buffs. 4.5/5 stars.
An outstanding contribution to our understanding of a complex and extended passage of history. So much about the Jacobites has tended to focus on just one or two brief episodes taken from what was, in reality, a very long-running soap opera Seward’s style is approachable and eminently readable, leading you through the many twists and turns. Deserves to be widely read
Seward offers a fresh look at the struggle to restore the Stuart monarch after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. A bracingly revisionist history
Seward's clear-sighted examination of the Jacobite movement shows how close it came to succeeding
Seward's best work, persuasive and consistently employing a briskness in pace, a clarity of style and a genius for capturing the character of those long dead, long-forgotten and, perhaps, never remembered ... a rollickingly, splendidly chronological history
A hugely detailed and complex history, woven into an engaging and revealing guide to what deserves to be told about the Jacobites
Edinburgh University Club of Toronto
Desmond Seward is a prolific author of an impressively broad range of popular histories. Since we are not overburdened by popular histories on Jacobitism, this lively book is a welcome addition
BBC History Magazine
About the Book
Shortlisted for the Military History Matters Book of the Year Award, 2020
Few causes have given rise to such dramatic tales of loyalty, passion and betrayal as the Jacobite dream of restoring the Stuarts to the British throne. Although its failure brought savage retribution from the Hannoverians, the Jacobite flame continued to burn decades after Culloden.
This is the first modern history of the entire Jacobite movement in Scotland, England and Ireland, from the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 that drove James II into exile and the death of his grandson, Cardinal Henry, Duke of York, in 1807. The Battle of Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight through the heather are well known, but not the other risings and plots that involved half of Europe and even revolutionary America. The King Over the Water weaves together all the strands of this gripping saga into a vivid, sweeping narrative, full of insight, analysis and anecdote.
Desmond Seward was educated at Ampleforth and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Among the most highly regarded popular historians of his generation, he was the author of some thirty books, including biographies of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry V, Richard III, Marie Antoinette and Metternich. He died in 2022.
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