The last successful invasion of England; mobs burning Catholic chapels; one king, James, driven from his palace by night while another, William, rode in at the head of a foreign army; the events of winter 1688 were among the most dramatic in our history. The settlement which followed would place England decisively on the path to freedom, toleration, parliamentary democracy -and empire. Few moments have done so much to shape this country as the Glorious Revolution.
But 1688 would change England in other ways as well. This was the time of Isaac Newton's scientific breakthroughs and John Locke's philosophy. The 1690s would see free market ideas emerge, the first stockmarket boom and bust, the end of press censorship and the arrival of religious toleration. Newspapers were opening. London was becoming a mecca for leisure and conspicuous consumption. In decisive ways, the modern world was formed in these turbulent years.
Weaving political drama in with the lives of scientists and revolutionaries, stockjobbers and refugees, THE LAST REVOLUTION paints a vivid canvas of England's last great political struggle, a struggle which often, at the time, seemed far from glorious. Here are the political exiles who plotted against James II, and the financiers who established the City; here are philosophers and gamblers, actors and entrepreneurs and -not least,- traditionalists defending cherished values against The Moderns.
Closely researched, teeming with dramatic incident and vivid character, THE LAST REVOLUTION brings to life the revolutionary world of the late seventeenth century. It offers timely reminders about religious toleration and the political freedoms on which we depend, and, finally, provides a brilliant insight into the emergence of the dynamic, constantly changing world we inhabit today.