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Mary Queen of Scots Paperback – September 1, 1993
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— San Francisco Chronicle
“She was sometimes reviled as a scheming whore, sometimes revered as a misunderstood martyr. But she was invariably regarded as fascinating. Antonia Fraser’s richly readable biography demonstrates that Mary’s great fascination continues unabated.”
“One of the most fascinating figures in history.”
— The Columbus Dispatch
“Compassionate, illuminating, rich in human interest.”
— The New York Times
“With grace, sensitivity and a sharp eye for detail, Lady Antonia Fraser has succeeded not only in recapturing the real Mary from the symbol but also in illuminating the chaotic age in which she lived.”
From the Inside Flap
She was the quintessential queen: statuesque, regal, dazzlingly beautiful. Her royal birth gave her claim to the thrones of two nations; her marriage to the young French dauphin promised to place a third glorious crown on her noble head.
Instead, Mary Stuart became the victim of her own impulsive heart, scandalizing her world with a foolish passion that would lead to abduction, rape and even murder. Betrayed by those she most trusted, she would be lured into a deadly game of power, only to lose to her envious and unforgiving cousin, Elizabeth I.
Here is her story, a queen who lost a throne for love, a monarch pampered and adored even as she was led to her beheading, the unforgettable woman who became a legend for all time.
Top Customer Reviews
Fraser has a methodical style wherein each sentence is so cram-packed with detail that her books probably improve on their second or third readings. She takes a comprehensive, relatively non-biased look at her subject here and provides an interesting biography of a woman who has been characterized as everything from a near saint to a scheming, treasonous viper who deserved her eventual beheading. While Weir seems to take the position that Elizabeth I was some beloved angel who eventually had to sully her hands and cut off the head of her cousin for national security, I think the truth is somewhere else, as does Fraser.
In terms of historical accuracy, I think Fraser probably has the edge over Weir, notwithstanding both authors' impeccable research. Weir allows story to take precedence over fact, something that doesn't seem to happen as much with Fraser.
Which brings me to my list of quibbles with this book. Fraser may write factually, but in doing so, she comes thisclose to having written a book every bit as dry as the ones I steered clear of in school. It was torture to get through some of the passages and I put the book down more than once, not to pick it up again for days. I wasn't compelled to finish the book and find out the rest of the story the way I was with Weir's.
My second issue was with all of the passages in untranslated languages, French primarily. A few years ago, I'd say I spoke French fluently, but even I had to look up some of the phrases here.Read more ›
Still there is no better way to discover the full scope of Mary and how people and events all conspired against her.
Perhaps no resident of Edinburgh is more famous than Mary Queen of Scots. Ironically, she lived in the land for only twelve of her forty-four years and her period of personal rule lasted a mere six years, none of which were free from strife.
Born as her father lay dying she became Queen before she was a week old. During her infancy King Henry VIII of England raided the country several times in order to kidnap the girl and secure her as a bride for his son Edward. She was sent to France by her Mother and raised as a daughter by the King. At the age of 16 she married the heir to the French throne who became King shortly thereafter. When her young husband died a year into his reign she was left a teenaged childless Queen Dowager.
She returned to the land of her birth to find herself a Catholic Queen in a country in the midst of Protestant Reformation. Many of her protestant subjects feared that she would become a second 'Bloody Mary' and like her cousin Mary Tudor attempt to force her country back to the Catholic faith. Plots and rebellions against her were a persistent occurrence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is a good read, but not as great as usual by Ms. Fraser. I do recommend the book, however, there were a couple of times that the wording was awkward and hard to follow.Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Kay Peoples
It was very eye opening! And so sad and depressing! But it was a good read.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Facual to the point of being a drugery. Characers were not all brought to life in the readers imagination. This author wrote as if she were not able to socialize ith mere wordd.Published 1 month ago by Alexandra Kaan
Spell Binding account of Mary Queen of Scots. So well researched. I did find it hard to grasp who was who since they all married close family members. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Diana Silvera
Very long, but a good read. Will take me a while to finish it. Just returned from Scotland, fascinating.Published 2 months ago by BC Shauver
A well written book which is supposed to be an account of the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. It is
a fairly accurate portrayal compared to many. Read more
Covers her story too well. The plot is repeatedly derailed by excessive detail - who is related to whom (to the third and fourth degrees) and even down to what fabrics and trim... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Beth Bock