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Synopsis

For eleven years, from his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1960 until his death in 1701, James II lived in one of the most spectacular baroque palaces in Europe at Saint Germain en Laye, holding court as a king in exile. This period is almost completely ignored by those writing about James and yet it was the period which set in train the rise in Jacobitism and allowed James to attempt to fashion the opportunity for his comeback as rightful king. John Callow's book reassesses James's strategy for dealing with his downfall and exile and presents a portrait of a man who planned for himself great political rewards and popular acclaim. That these plans did not materialise was the inevitable result of the changing perception of monarchy in Britain but James left a lasting legacy in the form of Jacobitism on the one hand and a deep suspicion of Catholic monarchs on the other.

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