Aolib.comFragment of Photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany (ca. 1897)

A History of the Four Georges, Volume I »


By Justin McCarthy

down the splendor of a court too much, and eats privately; so that,

except on Sundays, and a few hours twice or thrice a week, at night, in

the drawing—room, she appears so little that her court is, as it were,

abandoned.“ Although Anne lived during the Augustan Age of English

literature, she had no literary capacity or taste. Kneller’s portrait

of the Queen gives her a face rather agreeable and intelligent than

otherwise–a round, full face, with ruddy complexion and dark—brown

hair. A courtly biographer, commenting on this portrait, takes

occasion to observe that Anne “was so universally beloved that her

death was more sincerely lamented than that of perhaps any other

monarch who ever sat on the throne of these realms.“ A curious comment

on that affection and devotion of the English people to Queen Anne is

supplied by the fact which Lord Stanhope mentions, that “the funds rose

considerably on the first tidings of her danger, and fell again on a

report of her recovery.

[Sidenote: 1714–Fighting for the Crown]

England watched with the greatest anxiety the latest days of Queen

Anne’s life; not out of any deep concern for the Queen herself, but

simply because of the knowledge that with her death must come a crisis

and might come a revolution. Who was to snatch the crown as it fell

from Queen Anne’s dying head? Over at Herrenhausen, in ‹3› Hanover,

was one claimant to the throne; flitting between Lorraine and St.

Germains was another. Here, at home, in the Queen’s very

council—chamber, round the Queen’s dying bed, were the English heads of

the rival parties caballing against each other, some of them deceiving

Hanover, some of them deceiving James Stuart, and more than one, it

must be confessed, deceiving at the same moment Hanoverians and Stuarts

alike. Anne had no children living; she had borne to her husband, the

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