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Justin McCarthy (1830-1912), liberal member of Parliament and historian. He brings the great 18th Century personalities to life: Walpole and Swift, Bolingbroke and Mary Wortley Montagu, the Old Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the four King Georges. The first volume begins with the death of Queen Anne in 1714 and ends in 1733, with Robert Walpole fleeing Parliament as London erupts in rioting over his excise scheme.