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Mary, Queen of Scots: Pride, Passion and a Kingdom Lost
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was one of history’s romantically tragic figures. Devious, naïve, often highly principled, beautiful, and sexually voracious, this was a woman who secured the Scottish throne and bolstered the position of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Her endless plotting, including a likely involvement in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, eventually l ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 4th 2001 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks
(first published 1988)
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I've noticed that very few people in my life give a rat's ass about Mary Queen of Scots. Or Lady Jane Grey. Or Edwards I through VIII for that matter. I have a stupendous love in my life at the moment but he doesn't care one lick about any European royalty, past or present. Why do I care so much about the British Royal Family? Why do I find myself lying awake at night perplexed about the sexual orientation of Richard the Lionheart? Or babbling liberally to strangers about the complexities of acc ...more
This isn't a biography of Mary but a readable general introduction to her role as queen, as active ruler, and Wormald's judgement of Mary's abilities and achievements as ruler is wholly negative. She is utterly uninterested in the legend of Mary, the tragic Queen of Scots, or in the intricacies of her personal life and relationships. If you're looking for a thrilling exploration of Darnley's murder or a romantic examination of her passionate affair with Bothwell or yet another lengthy considerat ...more
Definitely not the place to start in learning about Mary Stuart, but it's an excellent analysis of her six year reign. Wormald offers a lot of convincing arguments that would leave any Marian apologist hard-pressed to formulate a cogent rebuttal. The only downfall imho is her research regarding the Casket Letters. As she argues, the trials occurred after the abdication and, hence, do not pertain to her rule as queen of Scotland, but I believe that as the letters were brought up at all in her tex ...more
This is a great study of Mary, Queen of Scots. Wormald focuses on Scottish politics to place Mary in the correct context. She shows that Scotland was not as wild and uncivilized as much of Europe thought at the time. The old title of this book was Mary, Queen of Scots: A Study in Failure, if that tells you anything about how Wormald feels about Mary and her rule.
I enjoyed the focus on the politics of the situation rather than the drama and romance. Wormald's review of the 100+ years prior to Mary's ascension to the throne gives a thorough background of the cultural and political makeup of the Scots. The remainder of the book describes Mary's actions and inactions and why Wormald believes Mary was an unsuccessful monarch. In my opinion she supported her thesis well.