Tudors Versus Stewarts: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary, Queen of Scots

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Overview

The war between the fertile Stewarts and the barren Tudors was crucial to the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth century. The legendary struggle, most famously embodied by the relationship between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, was fuelled by three generations of powerful Tudor and Stewart monarchs. It was the marriage of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of Henry VIII, to James IV of Scotland in 1503 that gave the Tudors a claim to the English throne—a claim which became the acknowledged ...

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Tudors Versus Stewarts: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary, Queen of Scots

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Overview

The war between the fertile Stewarts and the barren Tudors was crucial to the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth century. The legendary struggle, most famously embodied by the relationship between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, was fuelled by three generations of powerful Tudor and Stewart monarchs. It was the marriage of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of Henry VIII, to James IV of Scotland in 1503 that gave the Tudors a claim to the English throne—a claim which became the acknowledged ambition of Mary Queen of Scots and a major factor in her downfall.

Here is the story of divided families, of flamboyant kings and queens, cultured courts and tribal hatreds, blood feuds, rape and sexual license, of battles and violent deaths. It brings alive a neglected aspect of British history—the blood-spattered steps of two small countries on the northern fringes of Europe towards the union of their crowns. Beginning with the dramatic victories of two usurpers, Henry VII in England and James IV in Scotland, in the late fifteenth century, Linda Porter's Tudors Versus Stewarts sheds new light on Henry VIII, his daughter Elizabeth I and on his great-niece, Mary Queen of Scots, still seductive more than 400 years after her death.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
In this comprehensive account, British historian Porter (Crown of Thistles) reexamines the events that led to James VI of Scotland’s accession to the English throne in 1603 as James I. Much has been written already about the rivalry between his predecessor, Elizabeth I of England, and her cousin (James’s mother), Mary Queen of Scots, which culminated in Mary’s execution in 1587, and Porter avoids rehashing familiar tales about Elizabeth and Mary. Instead, she sets the rivalry between the two cousins in its familial context, with the focus on the earlier Stewarts, who have been overshadowed through the centuries by the more flamboyant Tudors. The relationship between the two dynasties had been fraught ever since Henry VII ascended to the English throne in 1485. There was the occasional reconciliation, such as the marriage between James IV of Scotland and Henry VII’s daughter, Margaret, in 1502, when the notion of a united Britain was seriously considered. Even Porter’s retelling of Mary’s life from birth until 1567, when she fled Scotland for England, provides fresh insights concerning that queen’s troubled reign and the causes behind her downfall, which, Porter argues, was not inevitable. Porter’s work relates the oft-neglected Scottish perspective and is recommended for anyone interested in Tudor England. (July)
From the Publisher
"Porter’s highly readable account offers a fresh perspective for readers who look forward to each new book on the Tudors" - Booklist

"A wonderfully thorough history of the Scots that thankfully avoids dwelling on stories that have been explored countless times before - especially fitting now as Scotland decides whether to withdraw from the union with England" - Kirkus

"Porter avoids rehashing familiar tales about Elizabeth and Mary. Instead, she sets the rivalry between the two cousins in its familial context, with the focus on the earlier Stewarts, who have been overshadowed through the centuries by the more flamboyant Tudors...Porter’s work relates the oft-neglected Scottish perspective and is recommended for anyone interested in Tudor England." - Publishers Weekly

 

 

Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-17
Porter (Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII, 2010) again draws from her exhaustive knowledge of 16th-century British history to explain the strong ties that eventually united Scotland and England.The squabble between Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth had deep roots and a long history. Beginning with the ascent of Henry VII in 1485 and the start of the Tudor dynasty, the author explains the many threats against his reign, including imposters, uprisings and constant border skirmishes. In the most important royal marriage of the century, Henry sent his daughter, Margaret, to marry the future James IV, the first step toward union. Margaret was second in line to the English throne, after her brother, Henry VIII, who also wished to impair the "Auld Alliance between France and Scotland." Porter clearly shows the ways in which Scotland was used by the English and French against each other, always at the expense of the Scots. James died at Flodden in 1513 in a diversionary attack intended to draw the English away from their attack on France. By that time, Henry VIII reigned and was bent on recovering England's territories in France. Regents ruled for James V until he wed Mary of Guise in 1538. That union produced Mary Queen of Scots, widowed Dauphine of France who, at age 24, was a deposed queen facing 19 years of imprisonment. Her son united Scotland and England in 1603.A wonderfully thorough history of the Scots that thankfully avoids dwelling on stories that have been explored countless times before—especially fitting now as Scotland decides whether to withdraw from the union with England.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312590741
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 217,341
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Porter has a Ph.D. in history from the University of York, England. She was the winner of the 2004 Biographers Club/Daily Mail prize in England and is the author of The Myth of "Bloody Mary", also available from St. Martin's Press. She is married with one daughter and lives near London.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    Best book I've read

    This is one of the best books that havd come out this year. Linda Porter includes everything from the politics to the violent backgrounds and religious factors that molded each character and also interest facts about, in this case for me since I had not read a lot on the Stuarts, on James IV, James V and Mary Queen of Scots. She was the Tudor era Tomboy and not Elizabeth and like her grandfather James IV, she was an expert needlewoman. James V was the less educated of all these three Stuart monarchs but this was not his fault when hsi mother's second husband, Angus and yman others had kidnapped him or tried to use him against her or for her so their families could become powerful. He spent stmo of hks life seeing his country torn apart by factions and lived a nomadic life, moved palace from palace. But he became one of the best kings in this period and it is only unfortunate that he died of illness following Solway Moss. Like his father, he spent a lit no building palaces, expanding his old ones, remodeling them and mkre than any other king during this tine, he had an intimate connection with his people as he would constantly go on progresses and stop to greet the commons. Under him a lot of artists and acholars found patronage and Scotland became well known as a center of culture. The great pioneer was his father who was a lover of chivalry and intellectual works and poems (which he often used to impress James V mother, Margaret Tudor) but James V expanded on that.
    The author doesn't forget the Tudors. There is equal amount spent on them as on their rivals, the Stuarts and explains the origins of their complicated relationship with their Northern neighbor, and how each Tudor handled that relationship.

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