Anne became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8th March 1702. On the 1st May 1707, under the Acts of Union, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.
The age of Queen Anne is one of the most illustrious in English history. In literature it has been common to call it the Augustan age. In politics
it has all the interest of a transition period, less agitating, but not less important than the actual era of revolution. In war it is, with the exception of the great European wars of the beginning of this century, the most glorious for the English arms of any that have elapsed since Henry V.
Excerpt from Historical Sketches of the Reign of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, 1665-1714.
The sketches were written years ago for the American magazine the Century, but the publication of them was long delayed, and it was found in the end that their length was too great to be consistent with the amount of illustrations, which are a great feature of that magazine. In these circumstances literature had to give way to art, and the papers were 'cut' as remorselessly, but much more cleverly, than Mr. Puff's play, the thread of the narratives being skilfully retained, while all that an author prizes in the superfluous way of literary style or ornament was cleared away.
In this succinct and concentrated form the Sketches of the Reign of Queen Anne have been reproduced in America in a handsome volume, which, were they important enough to tempt any critic, it might be amusing to compare with this present English edition, which contains the chapters as they were written, untouched by the stern scissors of a transatlantic Fate - who perhaps might be found to be a deity benevolent to the reader, and not, except to the author, the blind Fury with the abhorred shears.