William III

William III

William III

William III

Excerpt

FEW THINGS are more subject to changes of fashion than the 'verdict of history' and the posthumous reputation of kings. Royal reputations are created by successive generations of historians; and, as it is easier to win sympathy for a monarch who has fared badly in this process than for one who has fared well, so William's laurels--now sharply contrasted with the blossom of the Stuarts--have fallen into decay, apparently for no better reason than that they were bestowed upon him by the so-called "Whig" historians. Hence a readjustment of values, in which the "Glorious Revolution" is regarded as a drab and inglorious necessity, while the "Deliverer" is supposed, in popular opinion, to have delivered us from something which, viewed in the mellow light of restrospect, now seems brilliant and desirable. Accordingly, the modern biographer of Macaulay's hero is faced with the unspectacular task of reviving, not the dead, but the inert. This book, which attempts the revaluation of . . .

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