This introduction situates the accession of Queen Anne in the broad context of succession crises across the Tudor and Stuart periods. It explains the book’s fundamental methodological assumptions: that contextually sophisticated texts demand to be read through a tight historical focus; that the meanings of texts are contingent on the immediate contexts in which they were written, published, and read; and that those contexts shifted on a daily basis. Royal succession was a central topic in contemporary literature. Outlining the current historiography, it then explains how the book’s arguments may force us to rethink some basic assumptions about party politics at the start of the eighteenth century.
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