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The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots (Young Royals) Hardcover – June 19, 2012
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Thus, The Wild Queen was my first introduction to Carolyn Meyer. The Wild Queen chronicles the life of Mary, Queen of Scots who, interestingly, seems to only get scene time (or, book time) in relationship with her nearly 20-year imprisonment by Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, I'd say that I knew every little about Mary's earlier years before picking up this book.
At the age of five, Mary was left as the only surviving heir to the Scottish throne. Fearing for her life (and to secure an advantageous marriage to the Dauphin), Mary is sent off to France. Though she later marries the Dauphin, he unexpectedly dies, and Mary is left to pick up the pieces of her life -and the complex politics that comes with her inheritance. Using little but her own strength and power, Mary must secure her way to the Scottish throne among turmoil, religion and political intrigue -along with her distant claim to the throne of England and uncertain friendship with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.
I wasn't really expecting much from this book, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The writing here is very solid, straightforward and incredibly quick and easy to read.Read more ›
When King James V dies in 1542, his newborn daughter Mary is crowned queen of Scotland. Betrothed to the dauphin of France, Mary is raised in the French court and, when old enough, marries and becomes the queen of France. In spite of her position, she has very little power and all that she has vanishes the day her husband dies. Determined to claim her rightful place as the queen of Scotland, she returns to Britain. But not everyone is happy with a female ruler, and not everyone supports her claim to the throne. She is surrounded by traitors and doesn't know whom to trust. Perhaps if she follows her heart, she can make peace with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England.
I am keenly interested in the history of England and Scotland's monarchs and I love reading about the kings and queens of old. Their lives were often tragic and filled with misery, but it's all very fascinating to me. However, sad to say, I wasn't impressed with this novel and I had to force myself to finish it. First of all, though it's titled, "The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots," this is misleading. The book (and the queen herself) is actually quite tame. Sure, Mary makes a few foolish decisions, but she is hardly the fiery, untamed queen that the title and description implies. And she is not promiscuous in the least. Indeed, she remains a virgin for more than half the book, until she marries her second husband. While some historical accounts suggest she had a passionate affair with her personal secretary, in this novel, she doesn't.Read more ›
In my opinion, this was a very long book considering it is supposed to be YA. I am not terribly familiar with the time period surrounding Mary Stuart but after reading this I still don't feel terribly confident about the details of the time period. The characters are all extremely interesting - King Henry of France, Catherine de Medici, the sickly young King Francois, the other Maries, her handsome and STD-ridden husband etc. Some of the general details were vague and some of the details were overbearing. The novel lists in great detail her favorite pastry (pear fritters) and how she defied convention by wearing a white wedding gown and all the ins-and-outs of growing up in the French Court but since it is written in the first personal, journal-type of view all of the mystery surrounding the murder of her syphilitic second husband is just sort of glossed over. The book contends that the Wild Queen had nothing to do with it when there is definitely a possibility that something could have been set in motion by her. The book maintains her innocence. And there at the end of the novel, her last 25 years or so are covered in a page.
Ambitious family members (both French and Scottish) attempt to control the young queen, and use her to gain power for their own ends. Meyer does not gloss over Mary's own errors in judgment, to include her disastrous second marriage to Henry Stuart (chosen because he was a cousin, tall, and good looking), a young man who lets his perceived power go to his head, as well as her third marriage to James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell, for protection and to further her goal to become Queen of England.
Meyer's prose is very readable, and the book is enjoyable. Some of the subject matter covered (marital relationships, mistresses, illegitimate children) may be too mature for readers younger than 14 or so. However, since people did marry young, particularly amongst the nobility, in Mary's day, issues such as these are to be expected in an accurate treatment of the subject matter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved how the book told a lot about Mary's whole life. I'm a history freak and I love learning about al of the Kings and Queens of the world.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like how it is written. It is written with Mary herself telling the story. I really enjoyed this book.I would read this book if you would like to know about her. Read morePublished 9 months ago by anita
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Mary Queen of Scots, and it spurred me on to read other accounts of her life. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Shawnee
Excellent story into the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. As a fan of Reign, it was refreshing to read something more historically accurate of her accounts.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Shopaholic
Very enjoyable. I missed the other characters that played a part in the life of Mary's captivity. I will recommend this book to several of my friends. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ronald Casadei