Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mary Queen Of Scots

Antonia Fraser tackles the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, in this excellent biography. This book details every twist and turn in the fateful Queens life. Not only does it give step by step accounts of those famous episodes in Mary's life, her 3 marriages, 2 widowhoods, incarceration by Elizabeth I and execution, and also gives the reader an insight into Mary herself. Mary Queen of Scots (Women in History).

Major figures like Elizabeth I of England are usually discussed only for their political interventions in her career. Her female relatives receive merely a brief mention, while her attendants are dismissed as minor characters of no importance, a sort of Greek chorus watching in the background as she travelled from early promise to final tragedy. In this fascinating book, Rosalind K Marshall redresses the balance, examining Mary's life from an entirely new perspective, discovering the extent to which she was influenced by the women she knew - Mary of Guise, the mother from whom she was separated at such a young age, Catherine de Medici, the mother-in-law rumoured to be her deadly enemy, and Lady Lennox, the aunt who played such a significant part in her marriage to Lord Darnley. Most people have heard of The Four Maries, those attendants who were with her from early childhood, but there is confusion about their identities and the other female servants have been ignored. Until now, no one has made a study of them. By extracting their names from the household lists and researching their identities, Dr. Marshall shows that they were strong personalities with interesting and dramatic lives of their own. In short, this survey adds a whole new dimension to our knowledge of Mary, Queen of Scots and her world. Queen Mary's Women: Female Friends, Family, Servants and Enemies of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Mary, Queen of Scots and All That is a real-life adventure packed with historical facts about Scotland's headless heroine. Follow hot-blooded Mary's lifelong rivalry with her frosty cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England - and discover why the Queen of Scots gets her head chopped off. Start at the beginning by finding out how well Mary gets on with her pushy Mum, her ladies-in-waiting and her first boyfriend. Work out why she is hated by Nasty Knox the preacher and his Edinburgh mob. Meet Mary's horrible husbands and understand what makes her marry them. Solve the mysterious murders of her nearest and dearest. Learn the truth about Mary's madness. Uncover the secret plots that earn the Queen of Scots a deadly date with her cousin's executioner - and decide for yourself whether Mary is guilty or innocent. Crowned with exciting illustrations, this book is a heartbreaking royal romance that will leave you laughing your head off. Mary Queen of Scots and All That.

At midnight on February 9 1567, a violent explosion ripped apart Kirk o’Field, the Edinburgh residence of Lord Darnley, the 20-year-old King and second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. His unmarked body was found lying under a tree, together with that of his valet. The cause of his death and its perpetrators have remained obscured since that night, though Mary was a prime suspect in her husband's murder. Her apparent apathy regarding the murder investigation was regarded with deep suspicion but more incriminating were the infamous "Casket" letters, said to have been written by her to her lover Lord Bothwell, the supposed architect of Darnley’s assassination. Yet if Mary had good reasons for wanting her (Catholic) husband dead, then so had much of Scottish nobility. Using contemporary evidence Weir argues exhaustively that the letters could have been the work of forgers employed by Protestant lords "laying snares for the queen". Sympathetic to Elizabeth I, intent on justifying Mary's subsequent imprisonment and forcing her abdication, the prospect of a young foreign Catholic queen, unversed in diplomacy, refusing a Protestant alliance through marriage was anathema to the Scottish lords. Weir's book claims that Mary’s fate was sealed as much by the country of which she was monarch as by Elizabethan England. Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley.

On the evening of 9 March, 1566, a raiding party forced their way into the palace of Holyroodhouse and stabbed Italian secretary, David Rizzio to death while he was at supper with Mary, Queen of Scots. The attack was savage and brutal - Rizzio was stabbed over fifty times - and Mary's husband, Darnley, was among the conspirators. David Rizzio came to Scotland in 1561. There, he rose to power and influence in the court of Mary, Queen of Scots. He was her secretary, chief minister and the architect of her plan to avoid Scotland turning into a Calvinist republic. It was also rumoured that he was her lover and father of her child, James VI and I. David Tweedie explains how Rizzio so enraged the Scots lords that they plotted his murder. He points to the complicity of Elizabeth and her ministers and shows that Rizzio's murder was a serious political event, since with his death, died the possibility of religious counter-reformation in Scotland. While the other men in Mary's life have received their due from the historians, Rizzio remains a shadowy figure. This book restores the balance and explores one of the most shocking events of Mary's colourful reign. David Rizzio and Mary, Queen of Scots: Murder at Holyrood.

No comments:

Post a Comment