David Womersley

James II (Penguin Monarchs)
  • James II (Penguin Monarchs)

  • 'James was a king tragically trapped by principle. Yet was it wise to attempt to change the national religion?'

    The short reign of James II is generally seen as one of the most catastrophic in British history, ending in his exile after he unsuccessfully tried to convert England to Catholicism, a crisis that would haunt the monarchy for generations. Ultimately, David Womersley's biography shows, James was a man whose blindness to subtlety and political reality brought about his ruinous downfall.

David Womersley is the Thomas Warton Professor of Literature at the University of Oxford. Among his interests are Jonathan Swift (he was the general editor of the CUP edition of Swift), Daniel Defoe and Edward Gibbon, whose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire he edited for Penguin Classics.