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Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles: A Novel Paperback – April 15, 1997
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Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
More About the Author
Margaret's father was in the Foreign Service and so she lived overseas for her early life, in such different places as tropical Taiwan, desert Israel, and cold war Berlin, all of which were great training for a novelist to be. She started writing 'books' about the same time as she could write at all, mainly for her own entertainment. It was a diversion she never outgrew. Her published works are: THE AUTOBIOGAPHY OF HENRY VIII, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES, THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, MARY CALLED MAGDALENE, HELEN OF TROY, ELIZABETH I, and an illustrated children's book, LUCILLE LOST.
Margaret lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington DC, and has a sextagenarian tortoise as a pet.
Top Customer Reviews
Well, I read almost the whole thing. The book slows in the last third as Mary's confinement makes for less interesting reading than her wild rides in the Scottish highlands with her lover. Still, I finished the novel (well, almost finished it) with a better understanding of Scotland and England during the Elizabethan Age. And George fills out the story beautifully with factual information on European royalty, geograpical setting,architecture,food,clothing, music, pastimes, etc..
So, it's a great story,entertaining and educational, just a little overlong for my taste. It could be a four rating if one is a patient reader and interested in detail. It's definitely a feast best enjoyed in small bites and chewed slowly. Hit and run readers look elsewhere. History buffs brew a cup of tea and settle in!
Margaret George wrote an intensive book on the queen of Scotland, who was also related to Elizabeth I somewhat distantly. George did a great job of telling Mary's story ~~ a story of a rash, flighty woman who didn't stop to think before acting. Who thought with her emotions (such a different queen than her English cousin!) ~~ defied the normal conventions and rules set upon her by her advisors and did whatever she thought she wanted to do. Naturally, we all know how the story turns out in the end ~~ but George does a wonderful job of epicting "what might have happened" throughout this novel. And she does a wonderful job combining facts within the novel ~~ so you might pick up a few things here and there about Scottish history.
For those of you who want to read about the royalty but are too intimidated to read the historical tomes, I suggest you read this one. It's long ~~ but the writing itself will keep you interested and propells you onto the way to learning more about history. When you finish the last page, you rest in confidence that you tackled such a hefty book ~~ and you walk away just a little smarter about history. If a book can get you to do that, then the praises should rest on George's head.
My comments are limited to how much I truly enjoyed reading this book and learning of the details of the life of Mary, Queen of Scotland. After reading the book, it was weeks before I could put her day-to-day life, and death, out of my mind.
If you enjoy history, written in novel format, you will love this book. I read it in one week and am just about to delve into Margaret George's "Henry VIII" book...and then her book on "Cleopatra". I LOVE THIS AUTHOR'S STYLE!
Most of the novel is told by a third-person narrator, although there are some long stretches of journal-writing by Mary in the last fifth or so. Though Mary's viewpoint is the predominant one, the narrator occasionally travels to Elizabeth I's court and into the minds of various other characters as well, including Darnley, Bothwell, and sundry ill-fated spies.
Certainly the outstanding quality of this historical novel is George's ability to draw characters. Mary herself is depicted sympathetically without ever being idealized; at crucial times in her life, there's almost always someone to tell her that she's making a mistake, and she listens to them far too seldom. More important, George avoids making caricatures of figures such as Darnley and John Knox. The latter is especially well rounded; harsh as he is on the pulpit, we also see glimpses of him as a loving husband and father.
George has a nice eye for small detail, as when Mary on the last evening of her life prays, only to be distracted by her dog thumping his tail. "It was that everyday sound, the summation of all the everyday things she was leaving, that brought tears to her eyes."
I did have some reservations here and there. One of the few parts of the novel I found myself skimming was that detailing the love affair between Mary and Bothwell, where the dialogue takes on a decidedly hackneyed tone. When Bothwell uttered the line, "'Put your arms around me, and whatever happens, do not let go,'" I found myself anticipating the couple's impending separation not at all with regret.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I read The Autobiography Of Henry VIII, and loved it, so when I saw this at the library, I had to read it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tia Wallace
A bit tedious in the middle. I felt like it could have been about 100 pageso shorter.Published 2 months ago by Yvonne Bennett
Really well done. Historically accurate but written as a novel. Some stories get really long but the general pace of the book is pretty good. Read morePublished 3 months ago by crashkicker
A Good Read down here in Honduras. I had enjoyed her book on Elizabeth I and was disappointed this one didn't grip me as deeply, but still, it is good to learn the history of this... Read morePublished 3 months ago by L. P. Mccurdy
Good mix of history and fiction. It kept my interest and told her story.Published 5 months ago by Linda Rogers
Margaret George does a great job, as always. A must read for Mary QoS fans.Published 6 months ago by maplesugar