Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles

Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles

4.2 59
by Margaret George, Donada Peters
     
 

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She became Queen of Scots when she was only six days old. Life among the warring factions in Scotland was dangerous for the infant Queen, however, and at age five Mary was sent to France to be raised alongside her betrothed, the Dauphin Francois. Surrounded by all the sensual comforts of the French court, Mary's youth was peaceful, charmed, and when she became Queen…  See more details below

Overview

She became Queen of Scots when she was only six days old. Life among the warring factions in Scotland was dangerous for the infant Queen, however, and at age five Mary was sent to France to be raised alongside her betrothed, the Dauphin Francois. Surrounded by all the sensual comforts of the French court, Mary's youth was peaceful, charmed, and when she became Queen of France at the age of sixteen, she seemed to have all she could wish for. But by her eighteenth birthday, Mary was a widow who had lost one throne and had been named by the Pope for another. And her extraordinary adventure had only begun. Defying her powerful cousin Elizabeth I, Mary set sail in 1561 to take her place as the Catholic Queen of a newly Protestant Scotland. A virtual stranger in her volatile native land, Mary would be hailed as a saint, denounced as a whore, and ultimately accused of murdering her second husband, Lord Darnley, in order to marry her lover, the Earl of Bothwell. She was but twenty-five years old when she fled Scotland for the imagined sanctuary of Elizabeth's England, where she would be embroiled in intrigue until she was beheaded "like a criminal" in 1587. In her stunning first novel, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Margaret George established herself as one of the finest historical novelists of our time. Now she brings us a new, mesmerizing blend of history and storytelling as she turns the astonishing facts of the life of Mary Queen of Scots into magnificent fiction that sweeps us from the glittering French court where Mary spent her youth, to the bloodstained Scotland where she reigned as Queen, to the cold English castles where she ended her days. Never before have we been offered such a rich and moving portrayal of the Scots Queen, whose beauty inspired poetry, whose spirit brought forth both devotion and hatred, and whose birthright generated glorious dreams, hideous treachery, and murdered men at her feet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Personal and political naivete lead to Mary Stuart's downfall in George's massive, painstakingly researched novel, a Literary Guild selection in cloth. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
By the author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII (1986), another vast involvement with a legendary royal. The Scots queen (1542-1587), crowned at nine months, shipped out for a French marriage at seven, became queen of France at 16 for a year and a half, then returned to Scotland after the death of the French king—to four years of early triumph and then tragedy, two marriages, warfare, betrayal, power struggles, dazzling escapes, and, at the last, a flight to England—and doom. George has created a lively, gallant Mary of intelligence, charm, and terrible judgment—in outline true enough, and fictionally persuasive. Unlike cousin Elizabeth I of England, Mary enjoyed a richly cosseted and loving childhood and youth; arriving back in Scotland then—a Scotland bristling with religious ferment, plots, and a history of regencies—is a shock, at first bewildering, then exhilarating. But there are the trumpet blasts of Reformed Kirk theologian John Knox against a female ruler (and a Catholic to boot) and the obvious intent of the Queen's inner circle of lords to rule for her. There's also Mary's stubborn, disastrous choice of a husband—the "blue and gold lad," Lord Darnley, soon slipped into drink and debauchery and even murder. Mary's second husband after Darnley's murder (George absolves Mary of a conscious plot) is the Earl of Bothwell, here given an unusually heroic cast. Throughout, there are astonishing escapes, nick-of-time rescues by Bothwell, fleeting interludes of lovers' joys—as well as betrayal, sieges, and abuse, sadly from the people who once cheered her ("the people...with all their pitchforks, fervous and bad breath...mutable...but stronger thangranite"). At the last—another truly terrible decision—Mary flees to Elizabeth I for sanctuary, and is imprisoned for 20 years while the dismayed English queen makes up her mind. With a seamless use of original letters, diaries, and poems: a popular, readable, inordinately moving tribute to a remarkable queen.

From the Publisher

“The best kind of historical novel, one the reader can't wait to get lost in.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A massive, erudite, and entertaining novel that skillfully weaves historical fact and plausible fiction.” —New York Newsday

“George has creative a lively, gallant Mary of intelligence, charm and terrible judgment...A popular, readable, inordinately moving tribute to a remarkable queen.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A painstakingly researched novel that makes history live. The author's deep sympathy for her subject renders Mary an entirely real and unforgettable heroine.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

“An evocative portrait.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Dramatic...Romantic...George makes Mary a heroine to identify with because of her spirit, wit and charm...A triumph.” —Houston Chronicle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780736642316
Publisher:
Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date:
09/25/1998
Edition description:
Unabridged, 15 Cassettes

Meet the Author

Margaret George is the author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, and Elizabeth I, among other novels. Margaret first got the idea to write historical fiction when, after reading numerous books that viewed Henry VIII through the eyes of his enemies and victims, she found herself wondering if there might be another side to the story. She became determined to let Henry speak for himself, and it took fifteen years, about three hundred books of background reading, three visits to England to see every extant building associated with Henry, and five handwritten drafts for her to answer the question: What was Henry really like? Margaret was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and has traveled extensively. She and her husband live in Madison, Wisconsin.

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