By John Callow
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Additional info for James II: King in Exile
In this manner it might be possible for a writer to describe Christmas Day 1688 as having actually been celebrated in the British Isles on 5 January 1689, if only the New Style – European – Calendar was employed throughout the text! Consequently, the dating given relates to the setting of the events described with a single date given to denote action in the British Isles or Ireland, while both dates – or a simple abbreviation denoting the New Style dating – are provided for occurrences in Western Europe.
Michael Roth, born in Kilkenny, had fled to France alongside his king but had returned home to Ireland as James’s trusted messenger in January 1689, the herald of war. 1 Yet, if O’ Neill and Roth appear to have been focused only upon their military objectives, King James still considered that the religious and temporal authority exerted over all his subjects by his office as sovereign would be sufficient to deliver the citadel of Derry into his hands without the need for a shot to be fired. The night before, he had written to the garrison offering terms for its surrender which, as he approached Cavanacor, were being delivered by his emissary, Archdeacon Hamilton, to Governor Lundy.
It cannot compete, in terms of either public and media interest, or the sheer volume and intensity of academic output, with the appeal of the Civil Wars and the English Republic. This stems, in part, from the profound cultural changes that have fundamentally transformed British and North American society since the 1960s and re-ordered the priorities of citizens, politicians and professional academics, alike. As a consequence, the specific literature on James II, his fall from power and final exile published since 2005 has reflected trends already apparent at the time of the publication of The King in Exile, and variations and developments upon a theme, rather than radical new developments or theorisations.