This work illustrates the machinations involved in Jacobite plotting throughout the early 18th Century. It gives the lie to the equation of Jacobite and Tory sentiment and
indeed shows the contradictions between the principal of Royal heredity and Protestantism which paralysed the Tory party for a generation. It is particularly effective in revealing the plotting leading up to the invasion of 1745 - in particular how much preparation was in train for a French invasion of Southern England and the almost haphazard success of the Scottish invasion through Northern England which was fomented by the arrival of the young Pretender. Cruickshanks shows us the ambivalence of most of the English, motivated neither by loyalty to the Hanovarians nor complete hostility to the Stuarts, they were largely quiescent as the Jaobite Scots marhed through, neither resisting nor, for the most part, joining the revolt.
In the end, with little English support, the Scottish Jacobites decided to return to Scotland and Charles Edward was left with no supporters to carry him further south, to largely undefended London. No French support could be organised in time, and it seems the Whig-Parliament, Hanovarians and City-Brokers were let triumph by default. Beyond the scope of the book is the tremendous revenge carried out by the Hanovarians in the aftermath, and it is a matter of conjecture whether the failure of the Stuarts or the revenge of the Hanovarians was instrumental in turning the Scottish nobility into loyal subjects. Read Linda Colley's Britons for some views on this subject.
This book is clearly delimited, thoroughly researched and the product of great learning. It is perhaps, not written to be very accessible to a newcomer to the subject, but for a lay person who has an interest in the area it is a great addition. In summary I would read books by Paul Langford, Linda Colley and John Brewer before coming to Eveline Cruickshanks, but , once there, it would be well worth the effort.