Lady Queen Anne Essay - Critical Context

Sarah Margaret Moore

Critical Context

Hodges’ book is the only published biography of Queen Anne for young people. Indeed, even though the British monarch’s name lives on in Queen Anne’s lace, Queen Anne furniture, and Annapolis (the capital of Maryland, which was colonized when she was in power), she has been one of the least written about among all the British royalty. Therefore, this biography is an invaluable complement to the high-school history curriculum and a supplement to British history studies.

Even beyond its curricular usefulness, however, Lady Queen Anne is especially suitable for high-school students because it is an example of extraordinary scholarship. The book is thoroughly researched and well written. Hodges has learned her history well, and she has obviously traveled to the many sites mentioned throughout the text. She has saturated herself in the works of the poets, authors, diarists, artists, musicians, and scientists of the period, as attested by the bibliography at the end of the work. Many of the descriptions of London, of the various great events that were a part of Anne’s life, and of the political and religious conflicts of the period are culled from the words of the people who witnessed them. Hodges also uses such popular contemporary literature as nursery rhymes, many of which were circulated as political barbs in Anne’s time. Hodges only briefly covers the common people and their lives, but her vivid descriptions of London and the surrounding countryside give a sense of the city as it must have been. Hodges has done a remarkable job of organizing such a vast amount of historical and literary material and making it attractive to young people living so long after and so far from the events of the biography.