Fatal Majesty
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Fatal Majesty

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In Fatal Majesty, critically acclaimed novelist Reay Tannahill immerses readers in the tragedy of Mary, Queen of Scots-but this is not a conventional retelling of a fascinating yet familiar tale. Eighteen-year-old Mary returns from the sophisticated French court to claim her throne in cold, backward Scotland. A gloomy reception proves least among the nave young monarch's c...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published 1998 by Orion
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Sara Giacalone
A well-written, well-researched and thoroughly enjoyable account of Mary, Queen of Scots. I've read a lot of books about Mary - both fiction and non-fiction - and this one still engaged and educated me. Highly recommended!
Elizabeth Ashworth
This was well researched - almost too well researched because I felt that all the facts got in the way of the story and at times it was difficult to follow who was who. The overview narration prevented me coming close to the feelings and emotions of any of the characters and in the end I was glad to finish it.
Sep 22, 2008 Carol rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hugh
Recommended to Carol by: Mom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I do not normally like historical fiction--I read some of it because I love history and now and then get sucked in; usually, I'm disappointed, either because the scholarship is poor, or the writing is poor, or the author resorts to [gratuitous:] sexually charged scenes (a wise friend of mine enlightened me here: it's done to sell books--and I find I agree with that interpretation), or I get to the point that I JUST WANT THIS FREAKIN' THING TO END!
This is definitively NOT one of those books.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, bringing an entirely different perspective on events so very well known. Despite the ending being a foregone conclusion (it's hardly a spoiler when its part of history so well known) the additional characters she weaves into the storytelling; the Maries, Lethington, James Stewart etc, are compelling and add to the sense of not knowing what comes next for them. Much historical fiction centres around this time period and it is interesting to see Elizabeth I portraye...more
Mary Stewart...queen of France (for a time) and Scotland. Married, and then widowed, three times. Cousin of the ruthless Queen Elizabeth I. Born into political upheavals and back-door machinations of the 16th century. Betrayal, lies, imprisonment, and health problems haunt her short life. A very interesting read that dwells more on the thoughts and actions of a woman born to be queen and then outdone by the bickering and backstabbing around her. Beautiful, charming, intelligent...she was accusto...more
Angie Sheldon
Compared to other Historical Fiction books this was on par. I was quite happy to have one soley based upon Queen Mary and have a slightly different side to her tale.
You never seem to see Mary Queen of Scots portrayed in good light. She always seems to be plotting to kill Elizabeth. So this was a great change to see things from her perspective and to also see how slightly crazy Elizabeth was. Talk about mental!
And just like the Gregory books, this one keeps you interested and doesn't ever get boring. Yes, it's big, but it will fly by.
A prime example of not judging a book by its cover. I picked this up from a charity shop and its a very ratty book with yellow pages but it was totally fabulous. I loved this book and it followed history closely and I couldn't spot any faults. The Scots politics got a little hard to follow at times but thats the only problem I can see with this book. Very good historical read.
So far I like it... it's a little thick with dialogue, but that adds to the feel of the setting. There are tons of characters - representing real people of the time - so it's a little bit of a challenge to keep it all straight, which I love.
This book triggers my interest in the British history. Previously, I'm only interested in the French court. But after reading this one, well I've got to say...it's such an interesting history and make me want to know more.
I was captivated by the information in this book. A historical novel on the life of Mary Queen of Scots. As a civilization we have come a long way... I highly recommend reading it if you like historical novels.
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Jerome Newberry
Feb 03, 2008 Jerome Newberry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English history fans.
Interesting story for hisory buffs like myself. I would recomend it to anyone interested in English history. It shows what a violent people the Anglo-Saxons were.
I just couldn't get into this book; I don't know why as I like the topic but I found I really didn't care about any of characters.
Often historical fiction is more fiction than fact. This book reads as more fact than fiction. An enjoyable read, I'd recommend.
loved it. totally turned me on to historic fiction. i was off and running and still am years and years later.
SO far this has been a good read. informative and a nice departure from all my vampire books i normally read.
Not the best historical fiction on Mary but worth the read.
Jordan Mierek
One of my favorite historical figures.
Mar 22, 2008 Meghan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Not sure about this one, we'll see.
Karen marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
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Reay Tannahill was born on December 9, 1929 in Glasgow, Scotland, where she brought up. Her forename was the maiden name of her mother, Olive Reay. She was educated at Shawlands Academy, and obtained an MA in History and a postgraduate certificate in Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. In 1958, she married Michael Edwardes but the marriage ended in divorce in 1983, he died in 1990. Until...more
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