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Hardcover Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart Book

ISBN: 0618254110

ISBN13: 9780618254118

Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart

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NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. A biography "as enthralling as a detective story," of the woman who reigned over sixteenth-century Scotland (New York Times Book... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

mary made mistakes,but don't we all?

mary is fascinating. this is a great book all about her. without delving too deep,i felt frustration towards mary because,i knew she would marry that MORON,lord darnley,and this would ruin her life,but really,she did give birth to king james the first of england so,i guess it was fate? or whoever controls these things....god? a great book. the author has done his research and done it well. it is very comprehensive. it covers mary's birth,parents,marriages,scandals,personalities involved with mary. the illustrations are quite good. in short a basket of goodies for fans of mary. do not pass this one up. i like reading modern bios of people from long ago. this has it all.

`... a fully realized tragic heroine.'

Mary, Queen of Scots, has been the subject of many writers. She is variously painted as a romantic heroine, a tragic victim of a series of events outside her understanding or control, and as a manipulative she-devil. A number of novels have been written about Mary, some of which portray aspects of her life while ignoring others. An objective view of Mary is difficult to obtain, or so I thought. This biography by John Guy is the most objective portrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots I have read. Mary's life, the various influences and impacts, the politics and plots are explained with ample references provided. John Guy points to some incorrect cataloguing of key source material which, now it has been addressed, supports some of his reinterpretation. First, some key early biographical facts about Mary. She was born in Linlithgow on 7 December 1542 and became Queen on 14 December 1542 when her father, King James V, died. After a childhood in France, she was married to the Dauphin Francis on 24 April 1558. The Dauphin Francis became Francis II of France, and died on 5 December 1560. After his death, Mary returned to Scotland. She married her fist cousin Henry, Lord Darnley (then aged 19) on 29 July 1565. Their son was to become James VI (of Scotland) and I (of England). Many of Mary's actions only make sense when viewed against this backdrop. By age 22, Mary had been Queen of Scotland since she was 7 days old, Queen of France (briefly) and had some claim to being Queen of England. Naturally, this claim to the throne of England (whether she pursued it or not) made her a focal point for those who wished to see a Catholic as Queen of England. Likewise, her Catholicism made her enemies in Scotland. In this book, John Guy sets out the life, times of, and influences on, Mary. In doing so he paints a rather unflattering picture of Elizabeth I's key adviser Robert Cecil which is probably justified but not entirely consistent with my own less educated view. My advice? If you only read one biography of Mary , Queen of Scots, choose this one. If you have read others, then consider this one as potentially adding value to your existing knowledge. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

Immersive, entertaining, thorough, heartbreaking.

John Guy has given us a remarkable biography of Mary, Queen of Scots. No other Elizabethan (or earlier) biography I've read has been able to provide such a thorough picture of the biography's subject and the time and place in which that subject lived. In this book we get a clear picture of the conflicted character that is Queen Mary: a girl misused throughout life by family, subjects, and peers. Mary, however, is not above creating problems of her own through her capricious, willful, and at times devious behaviour. Still, she was not a weak person, and indeed had such a will as to find some success in the turbulent world she inhabited: a Scotland that was divided by clannish, scheming nobles, and loomed over by a firmly Protestant England to the south. Other notable highlights of the book include an incredibly detailed account of the death of Lord Darnley, and the up and down relationship Mary had with her cousin Elizabeth, the queen of England. All in all, this book is a thorough, entertaining and moving account of one of the most interesting characters from English history, and well deserving of a rare 5-star rating from me.

A fresh look at Mary Queen of Scots life and loves and plots

In this lively biography John Guy has produced a new, thoughtful, and very well researched, portrait of the much maligned Mary, Queen of Scots. He has dug up records that have not been used by historians in over 100 years and for the first time fully reviewed all the original documents relating to the death of her husband Darnley and come up with some very interesting results. Mary comes across as an intelligent, well educated, politically astute woman when she finally took her place on the throne of Scotland. It's often easy to overlook the fact that for close to 5 years she successfully ruled Scotland and its plotting Lords in her own name before the dramatic events which shaped her eventual fate took place. John Guy successfully puts these years of successful rule in their place and presents a version of the death of her husband Darnley that makes a great deal of sense given the evidence of this event that is still preserved in English archives. Mary's later captive years are dealt with in less detail, but the plots that eventually bought about her death are presented in with insight and detail. This biography has a lot of new information on Mary, and if you are interested in this complex and tragic historical figure then this book is a must, and it will make you re-think some of the assumptions in earlier biographies.


Couldn't be a more perfect voice to narrate the tumultuous life of Mary Stuart than the author John Guy. An unparalleled historian and consultant to BBC, Mr. Guy reads with depth and understanding as he traces the years of the doomed queen from her youth spent in France to her execution. There has not been a biography of Mary Stuart written in over a quarter of a century, and this is based on newly discovered documents that shed light on this enigmatic woman who has been presented as one who ruled emotionally rather than cerebrally. It is, of course, a first rate bio that reads as excitingly as any contemporary drama. Listeners who enjoy not only history but an up close look at court machinations, plotting, and subterfuge will be enthralled by Mr. Guy's epic study. Offering previously ignored evidence, the author posits that she was wrongfully incarcerated and finally beheaded, framed by her enemies. Hers was indeed a life that stands larger than the most imaginative fiction. - Gail Cooke

My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots Mentions in Our Blog

My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots in Things We Love: When the Books You Love Come to Life On-screen (Unless the Book is Way Better...)
Things We Love: When the Books You Love Come to Life On-screen (Unless the Book is Way Better...)
Published by Beth Clark • November 09, 2018

2018 may be winding down, but there are several epic screen adaptations that are set to be released before it does, including All the Truth is Out, Holmes and Watson, the newest Grinch movie, Mary Queen of Scots, Mortal Engines, Mary Poppins, Watership Down + more!

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