The Augustan Court: Queen Anne and the Decline of Court Culture

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This is the first complete account, administrative, financial, political, social and cultural, of any court of the late Stuart period. It explains how and why an institution that had dominated each of these areas of national life under the Tudors and early Stuarts had, by the time of Queen Anne's death in 1714, largely abdicated that primacy and begun a long decline into respectable irrelevance. The author argues that Anne's court offered few of the opportunities - access to power, wealth, status and pleasure - that had made attendance at and allegiance to previous Tudor and Stuart courts so attractive.As a result, the power brokers chose to wield influence elsewhere,in industry and the professions. This study fills a gap not only in our understanding of the court, but in our understanding of loyalty and interest, government and politics, and society and culture during the Augustan age.