The last of the Stuart monarchs ruled England with brilliance, likely had an affair with a Churchill ancestor, and kept her country Protestant. See her remarkable biography.
Nothing is more difficult than to recreate in all its complexity than a distant age and not only to get it right, but make it seem fresh and relevant. Fortunately, Anne Somerset has already done this brilliantly in her outstanding biography of Elizabeth I. In the case of Elizabeth, of course, Ms. Somerset had the advantage of writing about one of the most famous (and most compellingly interesting) of all English monarchs, the subject of so many different plays, films, and television dramas that we almost feel we know and understand her. Her new subject Queen Anne, on the contrary, does not loom large as a figure around which to build a television miniseries, and most readers, in the United States at any rate, would be hard pressed to place her exactly in time, or say anything about her reign.
In fact, Anne’s relatively short reign (twelve years) was pivotal, and marked the emergence of England as a major power in the endless wars of European succession, sealed once and for all the future of England as a Protestant nation, and brought to the throne a woman of great intelligence, political skill, and determination to rule—as well as one whose strongest emotional (and perhaps sexual) attachment was to other women.