|HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS|
the guardian Sat 28 February 2009
In November 1688, Prince William of Orange, of the Dutch Republic, landed in Devon with an invasion force of 500 ships and thousands of men and marched on London, whereupon King James II fled. William and his wife Mary (James's daughter) were offered the throne, and London remained under Dutch military occupation until 1690. How did this "invasion" come to be known as the "Glorious Revolution", a peaceful restoration of order? Lisa Jardine, with skill, eloquence, and lots of illustrations, answers by uncovering a cultural cohesion between England and Holland that predated and underpinned their political union. The detail of dynastic intermarriage is laid out so clearly that its significance is obvious. With the personnel in place, the accounts of Anglo-Dutch exchange in architecture and astronomy, painting and banking, make perfect, intricate sense. The detail is fascinating, the historical significance broad - for Jardine shows how grand events may be shaped by hidden relationships long obscured.