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Mary's death on 28 December O. Marlborough hoped that the rapprochement would lead to his own return to office, but although he and Lady Marlborough were allowed to return to court, the Earl received no offer of employment. The accusations were eventually dismissed as a fabrication and Fenwick executed — the King himself had remained incredulous — but it was not until , a year after the Treaty of Ryswick brought an end to the Nine Years' War, that the corner was finally turned in William's and Marlborough's relationship.

In the late 17th and early 18th century, the single most important theme in European politics was the rivalry between the Hapsburg rulers of Austria and Spain and Bourbon France. Spain was no longer the dominant global power it once was but remained a vast global confederation , with possessions in Italy, the Spanish Netherlands , the Philippines and large parts of the Americas.

It proved remarkably resilient; when Charles died in , it was largely intact and had even expanded in areas like the Pacific. Attempts to partition the Empire between the French and Austrian candidates or install an alternative from the Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty failed. However, this was on condition Philip renounce his claim to the French throne; Louis' decision to ignore this once again threatened French domination over Europe and led to the Grand Alliance being reformed in With his health deteriorating, William appointed Marlborough Ambassador-Extraordinary and commander of English forces to attend the conference at the Hague.

William died on 8 March O. While his death was expected, it deprived the Alliance of its most obvious leader although Marlborough's personal position was further strengthened by his close relationship with the new Queen. On 4 May O. England formally declared war on France. Marlborough was given command of the English, Dutch, and hired German forces, but he had not as yet commanded a large army in the field, and had far less experience than a dozen Dutch and German generals who must now work under him.

His command had its limitations, however. As commander of Anglo-Dutch forces he had the power to give orders to Dutch generals only when their troops were in action with his own; at all other times he had to rely on his powers of tact and persuasion, and gain the consent of accompanying Dutch field deputies or political representatives of the States General. On 9 February O. This was followed in the summer by an engagement between Mary and John Montagu, heir to the Earl of, and later Duke of, Montagu , they later married on 20 March O.

Their two older daughters were already married: But while studying at Cambridge in early , the year-old was stricken with a severe strain of smallpox. His parents rushed to be by his side, but on Saturday morning, 20 February O. Bearing his grief, and leaving Sarah to hers, the Duke returned to The Hague at the beginning of March.

By now Marshal Villeroi had replaced Boufflers as commander in the Spanish Netherlands, but although Marlborough was able to take Bonn , Huy , and Limbourg in , the "Great Design" — the Anglo-Dutch plan to secure Antwerp and thereby open the river lines into Flanders and Brabant — was left in ruins by Villeroi's initiative, poor Allied co-ordination, and by General Obdam's defeat at the Battle of Eckeren on 30 June. Domestically the Duke also encountered problems. The moderate Tory ministry of Marlborough, the Lord Treasurer Godolphin, and the Speaker of the House of Commons Robert Harley , were hampered by, and often at variance with, their High Tory colleagues whose strategic policy favoured the full employment of the Royal Navy in pursuit of trade advantages and colonial expansion overseas.

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

In contrast the Whigs, led by their Junto , enthusiastically supported the Ministry's Continental strategy of thrusting the army into the heart of France. This support wilted somewhat following the Allies' recent campaign, but the Duke, whose diplomatic tact had held together a very discordant Grand Alliance, was now a general of international repute, and the limited success of was soon eclipsed by the Blenheim campaign. Pressed by the French and Bavarians to the west and Hungarian rebels to the east, Austria faced the real possibility of being forced out of the war.

From the start the Duke resolved to mislead the Dutch, who would never willingly permit any major weakening of Allied forces in the Spanish Netherlands. To this end, Marlborough moved his English troops to the Moselle a plan approved of by The Hague , but once there he planned to slip the Dutch leash and march south to link up with Austrian forces in southern Germany.

A combination of strategic deception and brilliant administration enabled Marlborough to achieve his purpose. However, the main event followed on 13 August when Marlborough — assisted by the Imperial commander, the able Prince Eugene of Savoy — delivered a crushing defeat on Marshal Tallard 's and the Elector of Bavaria 's army at the Battle of Blenheim. The whole campaign, which historian John Lynn describes as one of the greatest examples of marching and fighting before Napoleon , had been a model of planning, logistics, tactical and operational skill , the successful outcome of which had altered the course of the conflict — Bavaria was knocked out of the war, and Louis XIV's hopes of an early victory were destroyed.

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Even the Tories, who had declared that should he fail they would "break him up like hounds on a hare", could not entirely restrain their patriotic admiration. The Queen lavished upon her favourite the royal manor of Woodstock and the promise of a fine palace commemorative of his great victory at Blenheim; but since her accession her relationship with Sarah had become progressively distant. For her part, Anne, now Queen and no longer the timid adolescent so easily dominated by her more beautiful friend, had grown tired of Sarah's tactless political hectoring and increasingly haughty manner which, in the coming years, were to destroy their friendship and undermine the position of her husband.

The planned invasion of France via the Moselle valley was frustrated by friend and foe alike, forcing the Duke to withdraw back towards the Low Countries. Although Marlborough penetrated the Lines of Brabant at Elixheim in July, Allied indecision and considerable Dutch hesitancy concerned as they were for the security of their homeland , prevented the Duke from pressing his advantage. These setbacks thwarted Marlborough's original plans for the coming campaign, but he soon adjusted his schemes and marched into enemy territory.

For the loss of fewer than 3, dead and wounded far fewer than Blenheim , his victory had cost the enemy some 20, casualties, inflicting in the words of Marshal Villars, "the most shameful, humiliating and disastrous of routs". The campaign was an unsurpassed operational triumph for the English general.


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While Marlborough fought in the Low Countries a series of personal and party rivalries instigated a general reversal of fortune. As a price for supporting the government in the next parliamentary session, the Whigs demanded a share of public office with the appointment of a leading member of their Junto, the Earl of Sunderland Marlborough's son-in-law , to the post of Secretary of State.

With Sarah's tactless, unsubtle backing, Godolphin relentlessly pressed the Queen to submit to Whig demands. In despair, Anne finally relented and Sunderland received the seals of office; but the special relationship between Godolphin, Sarah, and the Queen had taken a severe blow and she began to turn increasingly to a new favourite — Sarah's cousin, Abigail Masham.

Anne also became ever more reliant on the advice of Harley, who, convinced that the duumvirate 's policy of appeasing the Whig Junto was unnecessary, had set himself up as alternative source of advice to a sympathetic Queen. Following his victory at Ramillies Marlborough returned to England and the acclamation of Parliament; his titles and estates were made perpetual upon his heirs, male or female, in order that "the memory of these deeds should never lack one of his name to bear it". The Great Northern War also threatened dire consequences.

Nevertheless, major setbacks in Spain at Almanza and along the Rhine in Southern Germany, had caused Marlborough great anxiety. Prince Eugene's retreat from Toulon Marlborough's major goal for ended any lingering hopes of a war-winning blow that year. Marlborough returned from these tribulations to a political storm as the Ministry's critics turned to attack the overall conduct of the war. The Duke and Godolphin had initially agreed to explore a "moderate scheme" with Harley and reconstruct the government, but they were incensed when Harley privately criticised the management of the war in Spain to the Queen, and his associate Henry St John , the Secretary at War, raised the issue in Parliament.

Convinced of Harley's caballing, the duumvirs threatened the Queen with resignation unless she dismissed him. Anne fought stubbornly to keep her favourite minister, but when the Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Pembroke refused to act without "the General nor the Treasurer", Harley resigned: The military setbacks of continued through the opening months of with the defection of Brugge and Gent to the French.

Marlborough remained despondent about the general situation, but his optimism received a major boost with the arrival in theatre of Prince Eugene, his co-commander at Blenheim. Heartened by the Prince's robust confidence, Marlborough set about to regain the strategic initiative.

Good Omens

Marlborough — with renewed self-assurance — moved decisively to engage them. While the Duke commanded the covering force, Eugene oversaw the siege of the town, which surrendered on 22 October; however, it was not until 10 December that the resolute Boufflers yielded the citadel.

Yet for all the difficulties of the winter siege, the campaign of had been a remarkable success, requiring superior logistical skill and organisation. While Marlborough achieved honours on the battlefield, the Whigs, now in the ascendancy, drove the remaining Tories from the Cabinet. Marlborough and Godolphin, now distanced from Anne, would henceforth have to conform to the decisions of a Whig ministry, while the Tories, sullen and vengeful, looked forward to their former leaders' downfall. To compound his troubles, the Duchess, spurred on by her hatred of Harley and Abigail, had finally driven the Queen to distraction and wrecked what was left of their friendship.

Sarah was retained in her court position out of necessity as the price to be paid to keep her victorious husband at the head of the army. After the recent defeats and one of the worst winters in modern history, France was on the brink of collapse. The Whigs, the Dutch, Marlborough and Eugene failed for personal and political reasons to secure a favourable peace, adhering to the uncompromising slogan "No peace without Spain" without any clear knowledge of how to accomplish it.

All the while Harley, maintained up the backstairs by Abigail, rallied the moderates to his side, ready to play an ambitious and powerful middle part. Marlborough returned to campaigning in the Low Countries in June After outwitting Marshal Villars to take the town of Tournai on 3 September a major and bloody operation , the Allies turned their attention upon Mons , determined to maintain the ceaseless pressure on the French.

Two days later the opposing forces clashed in battle. On the Allied left flank the Prince of Orange led his Dutch infantry in desperate charges only to have it cut to pieces. On the other flank, Eugene attacked and suffered almost as severely. Nevertheless, sustained pressure on his extremities forced Villars to weaken his centre, enabling Marlborough to break through and claim victory.

Yet the cost was high: Harley, now master of the Tory party, did all he could to persuade his colleagues that the pro-war Whigs — and by their apparent concord with Whig policy, Marlborough and Godolphin — were bent on leading the country to ruin. Villars had only to avoid defeat for a compromise peace settlement to become inevitable. Publicly Marlborough toed the government line, but privately he had real doubts about pressing the French into accepting such a dishonourable course. Although the Duke was only an observer at Geertruidenberg, the failed negotiations gave credence to his detractors that he was deliberately prolonging the war for his own profit.

Nevertheless, support for the pro-war policy of the Whigs had, by this time, ebbed away. The Cabinet had long lacked cohesion and mutual trust particularly following the Sacheverell affair when in the summer the plan to break it up, prepared by Harley, was brought into action by the Queen. The result of the general election in October was a Tory landslide and a victory for the peace policy.

Marlborough remained at the head of the army, however. The defeated Junto, the Dutch, Eugene and the Emperor, implored him to stand by the common cause, while the new ministers, knowing they had to fight another campaign, required him to maintain the pressure on the enemy until they had made their own arrangements for the peace. The Duke, "much thinner and greatly altered", [] returned to England in November. His relationship with Anne had suffered further setbacks in recent months she had refused to grant him his requested appointment of Captain-General for life, and had interfered in military appointments.

For now, though, the central issue was the Duchess whose growing resentment of Harley and Abigail had finally persuaded the Queen to be rid of her. Marlborough visited Anne on 17 January O. Notwithstanding all this turmoil — and his declining health — Marlborough returned to The Hague in late February to prepare for what was to be his last campaign, and one of his greatest.

Once again Marlborough and Villars formed against each other in line of battle, this time along the Avesnes-le-Comte — Arras sector of the lines of Ne Plus Ultra. Chandler writes — "The pure military artistry with which he repeatedly deceived Villars during the first part of the campaign has few equals in the annals of military history For Marlborough, though, time had run out. The Elector made it clear that he too was against the proposals, and publicly sided with the Whigs. Nevertheless, Anne remained resolute, and on 7 December O. To prevent the serious renewal of warfare in the spring, it was considered essential to replace Marlborough with a general more in touch with the Queen's ministers and less in touch with their allies.

To do this, Harley newly created Earl of Oxford and St John first needed to bring charges of corruption against the Duke, completing the anti-Whig, anti-war picture that Jonathan Swift was already presenting to a credulous public through his pamphleteering, notably in his Conduct of the Allies Two main charges were brought to the House of Commons against Marlborough: On 29 December O.

The Allies were stunned by Marlborough's dismissal. The French, however, rejoiced at the removal of the main obstacle to the Anglo-French talks. Oxford Harley and St John had no intention of letting Britain's new Captain-General undertake any action, and issued Ormonde his "restraining orders" in May, forbidding him to use British troops in action against the French — an infamous step that ultimately ruined Eugene's campaign in Flanders.

After attending Godolphin's funeral on 7 October O. Throughout his travels Marlborough remained in close contact with the Electoral court of Hanover, determined to ensure a bloodless Hanoverian succession on Anne's death. He also maintained correspondence with the Jacobites. The spirit of the age saw little wrong in Marlborough's continuing friendship with his nephew, the Duke of Berwick , James II's illegitimate son with Arabella. The Treaty marked Britain's emergence as a great power.

Domestically, however, the country remained divided between Whig and Tory, Jacobite and Hanoverian factions.

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough - Wikipedia

By now Oxford and St John Viscount Bolingbroke since — absorbed entirely by their mutual enmity and political squabbling — had effectively wrecked the Tory administration. Although the contents of the letter are unknown it is possible that Anne may have summoned him home.

Either way, it seems that an agreement was reached to reinstate the Duke in his former offices. Oxford's period of predominance was now at an end, and Anne turned to Bolingbroke and Marlborough to assume the reins of government and ensure a smooth succession. But beneath the weight of hostility the Queen's health, already fragile, rapidly deteriorated, and on 1 August O.

The Jacobites had proved incapable of action; what Daniel Defoe called the "solidity of the constitution" had triumphed, and the regents chosen by George prepared for his arrival. In contrast, Marlborough was received with the greatest cordiality. The new King had not entirely forgiven him his flirtations with Saint-Germain, and he had no intention of employing him in any but military capacities. However, reappointed as Captain-General, Master-General of Ordnance, and Colonel of the 1st Foot Guards, Marlborough once more became a person of influence and respect at court.

The Duke's return to favour under the House of Hanover enabled him to preside over the defeat of the Jacobite rising from London although it was his former assistant, Cadogan , who directed the operations.

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But his health was fading, and on 28 May O. This was followed by another, more severe stroke in November, this time at a house on the Blenheim estate. The Duke recovered somewhat, but while his speech had become impaired his mind remained clear, recovering enough to ride out to watch the builders at work on Blenheim Palace and attend the Lords to vote for Oxford's impeachment. In the Duke and Duchess were able to move into the east wing of the unfinished palace, but Marlborough had only three years to enjoy it. The rest of the building is of course also still very much in use, amongst others by Citigroup, Brooks Brothers and the National Basketball Association.

Astoreth or Ashtaroth was the Zidonian goddess-moon in Syrian mythology. No, I have no idea who the Zidonians were, but undoubtedly they were heathens, and therefore presumably on Evil's side by default. The 'mother' in the horror movie The Omen which is all about the Antichrist being raised in a normal household was forced over the edge of an upstairs railing by little Damien on his tricycle. Oh, the grand old Duke of York He had ten thousand men He marched them up to the top of the hill And crushed all the nations of the world and brought them under the rule of Satan our master.

The grand old Duke of York, He had ten thousand men. He marched them up to the top of the hill And he marched them down again. And when they were up they were up. And when they were down they were down. And when they were only half way up They were neither up nor down. Accompanied in some versions by fingers marching up the small child as appropriate and stopping to tickle for the last line.

The gardener is none other than Saint Francis of Assisi. Note also the "flocks of birds settled all over him at every opportunity" bit earlier on. Woody the barman had [ The effect remains the same. Nobody knows the reason for this change, since both are American sitcoms anyway. John Maskelyne was a 19th century stage magician who specialised in sleight-of-hand illusions. He is fondly remembered in the illusionist community as a mentor to aspiring young magicians.

He also gained some notoriety for exposing fraudulent spiritualists. Notice that this is yet another misquote: They are a series of books about William Brown age 11 and his gang of Outlaws: Ginger, Douglas and Henry. There's a nice resonance here with the biblical Adam giving names to all the animals in God's creation Genesis 2: Queen fans have pointed out that at the time Good Omens was released, there was no or at least no easily available Queen greatest hits album that actually contained all of these songs.

A more recently released double album has remedied this situation. No, compline is indeed one of the periods of the religious day around The slimming aid is 'complan'.


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If you don't know what a haha is, see the annotation for p. Bee-elzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me Stern magazine published a series of Hitler's diaries in the mids which, in fact, turned out to be forgeries. Neil and Terry seem to be using the wrong year deliberately, because later on p. Torremolinos is a resort on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, which in the past was very popular with the more downmarket sort of British holiday-maker. Take it down market a bit. No, a bit more than that. That's beginning to get close to Torremolinos.

The town has in recent years made a great effort to change its image and attract a better class of tourist but whether this has worked remains doubtful. Terry explains that Pepper's names are not really a parody of hippie practices:. I have signed books for two Galadriels at least -- and three Bilboes.

Your basic hippy is fairly predictable. He was largely responsible for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain around You could have had quite a nice game of squash in it. For the connection between nuclear reactors and squash courts, see the annotation for p. But, as many alert readers have noticed, the word 'famine' only has six letters. The famous seven-lettered six letter name. In the original MS, it was six letters, because we can both count. And it was six letters in the Gollancz hardcover.

And six letters in the Workman US hardcover. And became seven in the Corgi edition. This problem was fixed in later reprints of Good Omens. See also the annotation for p. Charles Fort lived in the first half of this century and made a career out of attacking established scientific convictions and practitioners, mostly by collecting and publishing book after book of scientifically unexplainable occurrences and phenomena such as, indeed, accounts of rains of fish, etc.


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Although Fort and his Fortean Society cheerfully collected and proposed vast numbers of crackpot theories, Charles Fort was by no means a crackpot himself. He just wanted to attack and needle the scientific establishment using every possible means at his disposal.

This is of course the Star Wars saga, directed by George Lucas. The princess is Princess Leia Organa; and the person with the coal scuttle helmet who is allowed to blow up planets is Darth Vader. Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific -- and all his men Looked at each other with a wild surmise Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Actually, Keats was mixing up Cortez who conquered Mexico, and was the first European to look upon Mexico City with Balboa who climbed Darien, and was the first European to see the Pacific from the east. Or at least, that's what it says in my hardcover version and in the American trade paperback. In the English paperback, however, the quote says "one of the other five " italics mine , which is of course rather confusing, since two plus five usually equals seven, not eight.

This is another manifestation of the strange numbers glitch remember famine , the seven letter word? If you are the kind of person who enjoys learning this type of mindboggling trivia, then run , don't walk to your bookstore, and buy the Straight Dope books by Cecil Adams. Your life will be vastly enriched. There is even a Pratchett connection as well: Terry uses the Straight Dope books as reference works.

Just for the record: Matthew Hopkins existed, caused the hanging of nineteen alleged witches, and was rumoured to have been hanged as a witch himself although there no evidence of that, and most historians believe he died of tuberculosis. His name is Newton Pulsifer. The name 'Lucifer' means "bringer of light". One particular meaning of 'pulse' is a legume -- a pea or lentil. In addition to a title change, the new version is colorized and the running time is approximately 23 minutes. In all respects this new version has much to recommend it. The color is great particularly when you remember how drab some of the old black and white movies were.

Editing is miraculous considering the original length of Lucky Texan is 55 minutes. Nothing seems lost from the original plot and with some new background music the story moves along at a fast pace. John Wayne made many movies mostly westerns before his big break came with 's Stagecoach. Claim Jumpers is representative of his early work and very entertaining. One person found this helpful. The old Lone Star Poverty Row films by the young John Wayne were difficult to watch as they all seem to be staid versions of the other B westerns. But UAV has improved on these films by an almost total overhaul of the features.

The films were edited down to 20 or so minutes to make the stories tighter and more taut. Thus the "lagging" portions were eliminated. The applied colorization is top notch as the colors are brilliant and lifelike. The renditions doesn't have the effect of the old colorized versions. The sound has improved especially with the presence of background music and better sound effcts gunfire doesn't flat. Thus, the revided edition no longer has the feel of a poverty row production but a top notch B western.

Now, even the youthful John Wayne's looks as if he can really act! Congratulations to all those involved in the project. The Young Duke series has taken existing B westerns of John Waynes, changed the titles, digitized and colorized them. For collectors it's not correct. If you just want to see the Duke in the old days, they did a good job re-making the old film.

Looked for this a long time. I enjoyed seeing these old John Wayne short movies. They have been remastered and the jitters and spots removed. The colorization is among the best I've seen and is very well done. The three movies have been renamed; but, the original titles are in parenthesis on the back cover. Hokey plots, romance only hinted at, and direct, if stilted, dialog make these a real look at the s movie making standards.