Britain's lost revolution?

Jacobite Scotland and French grand strategy, 1701–8

By Daniel Szechi

Britain's lost revolution?


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8917-6
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: January 2015
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, History, Europe, European history, Colonialism & imperialism, HISTORY / Europe / General, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Humanities / British & Irish history
  • Series: Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain


This book is a frontal attack on an entrenched orthodoxy. Our official, public vision of the early eighteenth century demonises Louis XIV and France and marginalises the Scots Jacobites. Louis is seen as an incorrigibly imperialistic monster and the enemy of liberty and all that is good and progressive. The Jacobite Scots are presented as so foolishly reactionary and dumbly loyal that they were (sadly) incapable of recognising their manifest destiny as the cannon fodder of the first British empire. But what if Louis acted in defence of a nation's liberties and (for whatever reason) sought to right a historic injustice? What if the Scots Jacobites turn out to be the most radical, revolutionary party in early eighteenth-century British politics? Using newly discovered sources from the French and Scottish archives this exciting new book challenges our fundamental assumptions regarding the emergence of the fully British state in the early eighteenth century.


'Published in the year of the Scottish independence referendum, Britain's lost revolution? is a deeply researched and readable account of the alternatives that existed at the time of the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. It presents a lost past of radical change and European realignments. Built on totally new research in UK and international archives, Szechi tells the story of the revolution that never was in a way that illuminates the present and provides endless opportunity for counterfactual history. This is a What If? book par excellence'
Professor Murray Pittock, University of Glasgow

'This book is a significant contribution to Jacobite studies and is a great addition to Daniel Szechi's already impressive body of work.'
Kirsteen M. MacKenzie, University of Aberdeen, Northern Scotland


Daniel Szechi is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Manchester


1. Britain's lost revolution and the historians
2. March 1708 and its aftermath
3. The Jacobite underground in the early eighteenth century
4. The Scots Jacobite agenda, 1702-10
5. The geopolitics of the enterprise of Scotland
6. Conclusion

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