My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots PDF

My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots PDF

My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots [PDF / Epub] ☉ My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots By John Guy – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk A long overdue and dramatic reinterpretation of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots by one of the leading historians at work todayShe was crowned Queen of Scotland at nine months of age, and Queen of Fra A long overdue Is My Epub à and dramatic reinterpretation of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots by one of the leading historians at work todayShe was crowned Queen of Scotland at nine My Heart PDF/EPUB ² months of age, and Queen of France at sixteen years at eighteen she ascended the throne that was her birthright and began ruling one of the most fractious courts in Europe, Heart Is My eBook ´ riven by religious conflict and personal lust for power She rode out at the head of an army in both victory and defeat saw her second husband assassinated, and married his murderer At twenty five she entered captivity at the hands of her rival queen, from which only death would release herThe life of Mary Stuart is one of unparalleled drama and conflict From the labyrinthine plots laid by the Scottish lords to wrest power for themselves, to the efforts made by Elizabeth s ministers to invalidate Mary s legitimate claim to the English throne, John Guy returns to the archives to explode the myths and correct the inaccuracies that surround this most fascinating monarch He also explains a central mystery why Mary would have consented to marry only three months after the death of her second husband, Lord Darnley the man who was said to be his killer, the Earl of Bothwell And, astonishingly, he solves, through careful re examination of the Casket Letters, the secret behind Darnley s spectacular assassination at Kirk o Field With great pathos, Guy illuminates how the imprisoned Mary s despair led to a reckless plot against Elizabeth and thus to her own executionThe portrait that emerges is not of a political pawn or a manipulative siren, but of a shrewd and charismatic young ruler who relished power and, for a time, managed to hold together a fatally unstable country HEART IS MY OWN is a compelling work of historical scholarship that offers radical new interpretations of an ancient story.


10 thoughts on “My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Alice Poon Alice Poon says:

    I ve given this book 5 full stars It took me an inordinate amount of time to finish it due to the humongous cast of characters and the tangled relationships that the Tudor and Stuart family trees exhibit Now that the reading is done, I can say that I m truly impressed by this luminous, expertly researched biography of the gracious, witty, brave and ill fated Scottish Queen, from whom every subsequent British ruler has been descended.Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was less t I ve given this book 5 full stars It took me an inordinate amount of time to finish it due to the humongous cast of characters and the tangled relationships that the Tudor and Stuart family trees exhibit Now that the reading is done, I can say that I m truly impressed by this luminous, expertly researched biography of the gracious, witty, brave and ill fated Scottish Queen, from whom every subsequent British ruler has been descended.Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was less than a year old As the only daughter of James V, granddaughter of Margaret Tudor and great granddaughter of Henry VII of England, she had a rightful claim to the English throne At the age of six, under the auspices of Mary s powerful maternal uncles at the French court, the de Guises, she was sent to France to be betrothed to the dauphin Francis They were married when Mary was fifteen in 1558 In 1559, Henry II of France died and the dauphin was crowned Francis II A year later, Mary s mother, who was ruling Scotland as sole regent for the absent Queen, died Six months thereafter, Mary s husband, King Francis II, also died The ambitious de Guises sent eighteen year old Mary back to Scotland, envisioning a unified claim to the thrones of Scotland, France and England It was there and then that her nightmare began.On the one hand, Mary was immediately plunged into a factional melee of violent Scottish tribal politics, which were often tinged with religious sectarianism and always motivated by the nobles self interests On the other hand, Elizabeth I of England did her best to clamp down on Mary one of her demands was so draconian as to dictate whom Mary could marry , as she was fearful that Mary might usurp her throne her fear being constantly magnified by her secretary William Cecil In her home turf, Mary found herself surrounded by treacherous, vicious and depraved courtiers, including her sly and duplicitous half brother James Stuart Earl of Moray Her de Guise relations used and abandoned her as situations warranted and were hardly a source of support Unfortunate for Mary, her trusting and big hearted nature would often land her in a perilous position Her predicament was further exacerbated by constant threat of religious war all over Europe Catholicism vs Protestantism As witty and tenacious as she was, the odds were always stacked against her Despite all, Mary still strove to preserve her reign as the Scottish Queen and to claim her legitimate right to be Elizabeth s successor The last third of the book unfolds like a thriller mystery novel, as Mary tried to eke out some breathing space for herself by seeking political marriage She first wedded Lord Darnley, an English royal whose maternal grandmother was Margaret Tudor, and who would thus strengthen Mary s claim to the English throne Then when self serving and deceitful Darnley was murdered, she married Lord Bothwell, a powerful and ruffian Scottish lord, who also betrayed her trust in times of need The melodrama of her life culminated in 1568 when Mary naively tried to seek protection from Elizabeth but ended up being captured on English soil, where she would be under house arrest for the following eighteen years In 1586, out of desperation, she fell into the trap that William Cecil had set up and took part in a madcap assassination plot against Elizabeth She was tried in October 1586 and executed on February 8, 1587.It is impossible not to feel sympathy for this hapless but good hearted Queen, whose only flaw was perhaps her deep emotional need to be loved


  2. Matt Matt says:

    Turning my attention to a historical figure about whom I have heard much but know little, I chose John Guy s tome on Mary, Queen of Scots A woman of great interest whose short life made an impact, both in her native Scotland as well as England, Mary will long be remembered in the annals of history as a strong willed woman with something to prove Born the daughter and only legitimate child of James V of Scotland, Mary ascended to the throne six days later While Scotland was ruled by regents, M Turning my attention to a historical figure about whom I have heard much but know little, I chose John Guy s tome on Mary, Queen of Scots A woman of great interest whose short life made an impact, both in her native Scotland as well as England, Mary will long be remembered in the annals of history as a strong willed woman with something to prove Born the daughter and only legitimate child of James V of Scotland, Mary ascended to the throne six days later While Scotland was ruled by regents, Mary spent much of her time in her mother s native France, where she was betrothed to Francis, the Dauphin of France This marriage would, as some at the time proclaimed, make Mary the queen of not only Scotland and France, but also permit her a claim to the English Throne, as she was the grand niece of Henry VIII and had indisputable Tudor blood in her veins This piqued the interest of the English, as shall be seen later When Francis died soon after taking the French Throne, Mary was lost and left when those at Court did not seek to protect her or allow her role as Dowager Queen to hold much merit When she returned to Scotland, Mary engaged in promoting the Scottish rights and soon married her half cousin, Henry Stuart Rightful Queen of Scotland, Mary engaged in what could be said to be tense relations with her distant cousin, Elizabeth I of England Sisters , as they referred to one another, Mary and Elizabeth eyed each other with trepidation, as Guy depicts so well in his tome Mary bore a son, James, ensuring an heir to the throne, but things went downhill from there When Henry died in an explosion, Mary was again a widow, but she need not wait too long, as the man accused and acquitted of the act, James Hepburn, soon took her as his wife Guy explores the role that Mary might have had in her second husband s death, as well as how this could have advanced her control in Scotland However, the people of Scotland could see this wily couple for what they seemed and a revolt saw Mary forced to abdicate and pave the way for her one year old son, James VI, to take the throne Fleeing Scotland, Mary sought refuge in England with Elizabeth I, but the English monarch as too cunning to simply provide refuge After keeping Mary captive for over eighteen years, Elizabeth I had her sister executed after found guilting of plotting an assassination plot Perhaps Mary ought never to have made a claim to the English Throne all those years ago John Guy takes the reader through this tumultuous life with a great dealdetail than I expected, which thickens the plot and will keep readers astounded until the final page turn in a tome that has recently been made into a full length movie Recommended to history buffs like myself who seek something meaty about the goings on in 16th century Europe, as well as the reader who loves all things regal and full of intrigue.As with many of the biographies that I have read over the years, John Guy does a formidable job of laying down the groundwork for a strong story and builds on it from there His attention to detail and formulation of a strong narrative helps keep the biography moving along Guy is able to convey the highly varied and exciting life lived by Mary throughout, paying particular attention to some of thedramatic aspects that led to her downfall Some may wonder why my summary paragraph was much shorter than usual I chose not to reveal much, as I wanted other readers to learn many of the nuggets I found throughout The book paced itself nicely, allowing the story to develop and the reader to discover some of the nuances in Mary s life, particularly her life as a monarch Guy s use of many documents not used for centuries helps to answer some questions past historians have left out while also challenging many of the norms history has attributed to this most controversial queen Guy presents these documents in the text, at times explaining their significance to the reader and discussing how some of this is new ground that will flavour his tome differently from what others have noticed I found myself better acquainted with the key actors in this dramatic Europeans monarchical soap opera and would love to see the film based on this book, if only to discover if the clashes between Elizabeth and Mary were as subtle as they appear herein Guy transports the reader back centuries, but brings the entire story to life in the present His longer chapters are through and his easy to comprehend narrative makes for a wonderful learning experience that does not get too academic I hope to findof his work in the coming years to educate myself ontopics Kudos, Mr Guy for a fabulous review I cannot wait to readof your work This book fulfils Topic 2 Time Traveller, in the Equinox 9 reading challenge.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge


  3. fourtriplezed fourtriplezed says:

    To say this was a sympathetic biography of Mary Queen of Scots would do an injustice to the word sympathetic I hate to use the word hagiography but this is as close as it gets The author is a specialist in Tudor history and is to be respected but I have come away from this very readable book, and I mean very readable, profoundly confused He has, in my opinion, let his deep research into the subject cloud his judgement in the presentation of the biography His sympathy spoils the entire narrat To say this was a sympathetic biography of Mary Queen of Scots would do an injustice to the word sympathetic I hate to use the word hagiography but this is as close as it gets The author is a specialist in Tudor history and is to be respected but I have come away from this very readable book, and I mean very readable, profoundly confused He has, in my opinion, let his deep research into the subject cloud his judgement in the presentation of the biography His sympathy spoils the entire narrative Yes he is occasionally critical of Mary s decisions but then there seems to be excuses Lets be honest, her decision to marry Bothwell must rank as one of the most ludicrous acts by a reigning monarch in British history Yes the author says as much but makes excuses I was almost waiting for Stockholm Syndrome to be evoked after she was raped by Bothwell The superlatives used to describe Mary are constant throughout intelligent, ingenious, razor sharp And in the end when things have gone disastrously wrong we get told she was unlucky Well yes, maybe, but her bad luck is apparently just a constant throughout her life The author works hard to make it all very unlucky that way via some very sympathetic eulogising I tended to want him to tell the story and let me decide, not editorialise.My other major criticism is the use of the sources I have to be critical of the notes, sources and the bibliography used in the research for the fact they are not mapped by footnotes The book is a revisionist opinion and that is fair enough, but with that, if the author going to make statements as to it being a cold day , one of the protagonists feeling happy , sad or indifferent at least map the source via a footnote I mean if Mary was born in the coldest winter first page of the first chapter what was the source This was constant throughout and a distraction from a very good history to tell So with all that in mind would I recommend this to others who are interested in the life of Mary Queen of Scots Yes as at its best this is an an extremely interesting book I just wish the author had been a bitcircumspect in his delivery


  4. Ken Ken says:

    I d planned to read this prior to the movie release, but it soon became apparent with the level of in depth research on a complicated period in British history that I wouldn t finish this in time.That s a massive compliment to the author, it s a time that I m overly familiar with and with each chapter I was continuing to learn so much.As Guy carefully explains what life was like for Mary, from the daily living conditions to the political climate at the time It s also non fiction, so I wasn t to I d planned to read this prior to the movie release, but it soon became apparent with the level of in depth research on a complicated period in British history that I wouldn t finish this in time.That s a massive compliment to the author, it s a time that I m overly familiar with and with each chapter I was continuing to learn so much.As Guy carefully explains what life was like for Mary, from the daily living conditions to the political climate at the time It s also non fiction, so I wasn t too worried about spoilers I knew how Mary s story ended I ve seen a few people say that the film was slow, but having read a substantial amount prior to watching the movie I felt that I was well equipped to just still back and enjoy both Ronan s and Robbie s performances.I m not sure why I don t read much non fiction, as it was so interesting to learnabout this period.Ooh and I loved the movie too


  5. Gina Gina says:

    This is a well researched and well written, detailed story of Mary, Queen of Scots It seems to me that history has kind of pushed Mary under the carpet so to speak There doesn t seem to be as much written about her when compared to the Tudor period in England or Russia s storied czars and leaders.Mary truly was a courageous woman, and her life was filled with continual drama It took extreme determination on her part to demand her claim to the throne of Scotland and later England be recognized This is a well researched and well written, detailed story of Mary, Queen of Scots It seems to me that history has kind of pushed Mary under the carpet so to speak There doesn t seem to be as much written about her when compared to the Tudor period in England or Russia s storied czars and leaders.Mary truly was a courageous woman, and her life was filled with continual drama It took extreme determination on her part to demand her claim to the throne of Scotland and later England be recognized It seems to me that prior tomes based on her life were either shrouded in bias she was either loved or vilified However, John Guy uses documents that were heretofore undiscovered to reveal the true Mary Stuart It makes for very interesting reading for anyone who is a history buff, a follower of all things royal, or someone who just enjoys a good factual read.Like many royals, Mary faces betrayals, deceit, others who would take her crown, and religious zealots.Whether the Mary, Queen of Scots you learned about was shown to be a saint, a martyr, or a demon, this book may change the way you look at her and her place in the history books


  6. Fiona Fiona says:

    I enjoyed this book but found it difficult not to be furious with Mary s stupidity and short sightedness, not to mention her vanity which allowed her to be easily led by similarly vain and ambitious men Guy perhaps is a little in love with Mary and the book lacks incisiveness and impartiality because of it but it s still one of the best biographies I ve read.


  7. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Interesting insight on what Mary was really like but the author is VERY biased in her favour and bends over backwards to show her in a favourable light, often to the detriment of others I wonder how he feels about the recent revelations by medical historians that for it to be apparent that Mary had miscarried Bothwell s twins rather than a single baby , she must have been at least five months pregnant 16th century medicine would not have been able to discern twin foetuses before that stage Interesting insight on what Mary was really like but the author is VERY biased in her favour and bends over backwards to show her in a favourable light, often to the detriment of others I wonder how he feels about the recent revelations by medical historians that for it to be apparent that Mary had miscarried Bothwell s twins rather than a single baby , she must have been at least five months pregnant 16th century medicine would not have been able to discern twin foetuses before that stage This means Mary was pregnant by Bothwell before Darnley s murder, and gives her a compelling motive for wanting to get her husband out of the way She was almost certainly complicit in his murder and she not only failed to make any serious effort to bring her husband s killers to justice, she married one of them The Casket Letters may well be forged but they are beside the point really as Mary s actions speak for themselves.Anyone wanting to read a ratherhonest account of Mary s life and character would do better to read An Accidental Tragedy by Roderick Graham, which treats Mary as the flawed human being she was, and even explains how the cult of Mary Stewart with all its silly myths, developed after her death


  8. Colleen Browne Colleen Browne says:

    In a word, this book is brilliant The breadth of research and expertise in writing makes this the best book I have read in quite a while John Guy plumbed the depths of the archives to discover new evidence about Mary and constructed a great book His attention to detail and writing ability makes it a must read for anyone with an interest in history Mary s story at once allows the reader to understand the obstacles faced by female rulers Her dynastic parentage meant that she would be sought In a word, this book is brilliant The breadth of research and expertise in writing makes this the best book I have read in quite a while John Guy plumbed the depths of the archives to discover new evidence about Mary and constructed a great book His attention to detail and writing ability makes it a must read for anyone with an interest in history Mary s story at once allows the reader to understand the obstacles faced by female rulers Her dynastic parentage meant that she would be sought after by monarchies anxious to join forces to form powerful alliances in the rough and tumble politics of 16th Century Europe She was married to the Dauphin, Henry and it looked as if she had a successful marriage and a successful future life in France, but also in England where her dynastic rights awaited Sadly, her marriage to the dauphin would be cut short by his very early death As a toddler, she had been crowned queen of Scotland and after being widowed, traveled there to assume her crown What she could not have known was that she was monarch over a split and disorganized country Her lords, including her half brother, did not accept the idea of a woman queen and decided that they would control her from the start When she proved to be her own woman, the plots that would eventually bring about her downfall began She would be imprisoned for 18 years, all the while hoping and pleading with Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, for an intervention that never came Elizabeth s right hand man Cecil, a devout and maniacal Protestant planned the Catholic Mary s downfall from the moment she left France The rest, I leave to other readers to learn


  9. Orsolya Orsolya says:

    Mary, Queen of Scots, doesn t have the best reputation Said to have ruled with her heart rather than her head Mary Stuart was surrounded by drama, heartbreak, forced to abdicate her throne, and eventually beheaded after being held captive in England Yet, there is much to credit Mary that many people overlook Historian John Guy attempts to rehabilitate this infamous woman in, Queen of Scots The True Life of Mary Stuart Guy presents Queen of Scots as a full fledged biography beginning wi Mary, Queen of Scots, doesn t have the best reputation Said to have ruled with her heart rather than her head Mary Stuart was surrounded by drama, heartbreak, forced to abdicate her throne, and eventually beheaded after being held captive in England Yet, there is much to credit Mary that many people overlook Historian John Guy attempts to rehabilitate this infamous woman in, Queen of Scots The True Life of Mary Stuart Guy presents Queen of Scots as a full fledged biography beginning with a description of Mary s birth and subsequent childhood This beginning is slightly less evasive to the actual Mary as Guy focuseson the environment around Mary and of key figures in her life versus just of Mary herself It can be argued that Guy goes slightly off tangents at times However, stick to the reading as Queen of Scots does reveal Maryas the pages progress.Readers need not worry that Guy puts Mary on a pedestal merely to reverse the consensus image of her character Rather, Queen of Scots is actually quite straight forward and a better formed big picture portrait of Mary than most other biographies.Guy does suffer from his usual tendency of making speculative and would have and could have statements Luckily, based on other books of his I have read Queen of Scots is the least to overuse these Guy s prose and text is also a bit too flowery and visual which is also a habit of his and means he could pen a terrific HF novel which deters some readers On the other hand, this writing style prevents Queen of Scots from being too dry and scholarly and thus heightens the pace In other flaws, Guy sometimes backtracks in time and events when presenting information which can cause confusion with readers Also evident is repetition literally There are phrases which appear almost copy pasted I m not sure how the editor missed this.On a positive note, Queen of Scots is peppered with myth debunking and detective work performed by Guy In fact, some of the information is fresh or explored in a way that even those readers familiar with the life of Mary will find amusing, revealing, and interesting Queen of Scots sort of shifts gears from a biography to an investigative piece when discussing the murder of Darnley Guys presents this event in a court case like manner and proceeds to break down the history and subsequent events in points of view of Mary, Bothwell, and the nobility This is done in a very well rounded and complete way revealing multiple angles and information previously not discussed Guy even quotes documents not mentioned by historians since the 1800s This helps explain Mary s position in a far better conclusive way than other biographies Yet, Guy doesn t push his beliefs or biases he merely gives a better insight for readers to make their own judgments while debunking myths.On similar grounds, Guy s discussion of the Casket Letters and its impact is thorough, riveting, and muchin depth and investigative than many other sources Again, all sides are explored and myths are exposed debunked resulting in compelling reading Sadly, concluding chapters slow down in pace and return to a biography style which isn t necessarily a problem The problem is that Guy seems to rush over topics and Queen of Scots feels as though a deadline was approaching or the word count was being met and therefore Guy had to wrap it up The epilogue of Queen of Scots features a strong summary of Mary s legacy followed by chronological time lines of events both in Mary s life and in Britain during her lifetime This is followed by annotated notes and a section of sources a satisfying amount of primary sources were used Guy also infuses Queen of Scots with two sections of black and white photo plates Queen of Scots is a very well written, heavily researched biography which takes a unique investigative look at Mary s life offering an out of the box view without simply hero worshipping her Queen of Scots is recommended for all readers interested in British history, queens, and Mary, herself Queen of Scots is definitely one of Guy s stronger works


  10. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Good read but too biased and tries to present Mary as a far better person than the evidence suggests she could possibly have been What are we to think of a woman who, when the husband she loathes is murdered, gives his horse and some of his clothes to the man EVERYONE says is the killer What should we think when she refuses to allowthan a show trial at which the court is surrounded by armed men employed by the defendant, who threatens to kill anyone who speaks out of turn What should Good read but too biased and tries to present Mary as a far better person than the evidence suggests she could possibly have been What are we to think of a woman who, when the husband she loathes is murdered, gives his horse and some of his clothes to the man EVERYONE says is the killer What should we think when she refuses to allowthan a show trial at which the court is surrounded by armed men employed by the defendant, who threatens to kill anyone who speaks out of turn What should we think when the widow marries that defendant less than three months after the murder And what do we conclude when the widow, pregnant by the murderer, miscarries of twins, bearing in mind that in the 16th century it wouldn t have been possible to tell the foetuses were twins until five months into the pregnancy, so that conception must have taken place well before her husband s murder but after her estrangement from him Is she not condemned by these actions, irrespective of the Casket Letters For a much better and quite unbiased account of Mary s life, read An Accidental Tragedy, by Roderick Graham


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Alice Poon Alice Poon says:

    I ve given this book 5 full stars It took me an inordinate amount of time to finish it due to the humongous cast of characters and the tangled relationships that the Tudor and Stuart family trees exhibit Now that the reading is done, I can say that I m truly impressed by this luminous, expertly researched biography of the gracious, witty, brave and ill fated Scottish Queen, from whom every subsequent British ruler has been descended.Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was less t I ve given this book 5 full stars It took me an inordinate amount of time to finish it due to the humongous cast of characters and the tangled relationships that the Tudor and Stuart family trees exhibit Now that the reading is done, I can say that I m truly impressed by this luminous, expertly researched biography of the gracious, witty, brave and ill fated Scottish Queen, from whom every subsequent British ruler has been descended.Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was less than a year old As the only daughter of James V, granddaughter of Margaret Tudor and great granddaughter of Henry VII of England, she had a rightful claim to the English throne At the age of six, under the auspices of Mary s powerful maternal uncles at the French court, the de Guises, she was sent to France to be betrothed to the dauphin Francis They were married when Mary was fifteen in 1558 In 1559, Henry II of France died and the dauphin was crowned Francis II A year later, Mary s mother, who was ruling Scotland as sole regent for the absent Queen, died Six months thereafter, Mary s husband, King Francis II, also died The ambitious de Guises sent eighteen year old Mary back to Scotland, envisioning a unified claim to the thrones of Scotland, France and England It was there and then that her nightmare began.On the one hand, Mary was immediately plunged into a factional melee of violent Scottish tribal politics, which were often tinged with religious sectarianism and always motivated by the nobles self interests On the other hand, Elizabeth I of England did her best to clamp down on Mary one of her demands was so draconian as to dictate whom Mary could marry , as she was fearful that Mary might usurp her throne her fear being constantly magnified by her secretary William Cecil In her home turf, Mary found herself surrounded by treacherous, vicious and depraved courtiers, including her sly and duplicitous half brother James Stuart Earl of Moray Her de Guise relations used and abandoned her as situations warranted and were hardly a source of support Unfortunate for Mary, her trusting and big hearted nature would often land her in a perilous position Her predicament was further exacerbated by constant threat of religious war all over Europe Catholicism vs Protestantism As witty and tenacious as she was, the odds were always stacked against her Despite all, Mary still strove to preserve her reign as the Scottish Queen and to claim her legitimate right to be Elizabeth s successor The last third of the book unfolds like a thriller mystery novel, as Mary tried to eke out some breathing space for herself by seeking political marriage She first wedded Lord Darnley, an English royal whose maternal grandmother was Margaret Tudor, and who would thus strengthen Mary s claim to the English throne Then when self serving and deceitful Darnley was murdered, she married Lord Bothwell, a powerful and ruffian Scottish lord, who also betrayed her trust in times of need The melodrama of her life culminated in 1568 when Mary naively tried to seek protection from Elizabeth but ended up being captured on English soil, where she would be under house arrest for the following eighteen years In 1586, out of desperation, she fell into the trap that William Cecil had set up and took part in a madcap assassination plot against Elizabeth She was tried in October 1586 and executed on February 8, 1587.It is impossible not to feel sympathy for this hapless but good hearted Queen, whose only flaw was perhaps her deep emotional need to be loved

  2. Matt Matt says:

    Turning my attention to a historical figure about whom I have heard much but know little, I chose John Guy s tome on Mary, Queen of Scots A woman of great interest whose short life made an impact, both in her native Scotland as well as England, Mary will long be remembered in the annals of history as a strong willed woman with something to prove Born the daughter and only legitimate child of James V of Scotland, Mary ascended to the throne six days later While Scotland was ruled by regents, M Turning my attention to a historical figure about whom I have heard much but know little, I chose John Guy s tome on Mary, Queen of Scots A woman of great interest whose short life made an impact, both in her native Scotland as well as England, Mary will long be remembered in the annals of history as a strong willed woman with something to prove Born the daughter and only legitimate child of James V of Scotland, Mary ascended to the throne six days later While Scotland was ruled by regents, Mary spent much of her time in her mother s native France, where she was betrothed to Francis, the Dauphin of France This marriage would, as some at the time proclaimed, make Mary the queen of not only Scotland and France, but also permit her a claim to the English Throne, as she was the grand niece of Henry VIII and had indisputable Tudor blood in her veins This piqued the interest of the English, as shall be seen later When Francis died soon after taking the French Throne, Mary was lost and left when those at Court did not seek to protect her or allow her role as Dowager Queen to hold much merit When she returned to Scotland, Mary engaged in promoting the Scottish rights and soon married her half cousin, Henry Stuart Rightful Queen of Scotland, Mary engaged in what could be said to be tense relations with her distant cousin, Elizabeth I of England Sisters , as they referred to one another, Mary and Elizabeth eyed each other with trepidation, as Guy depicts so well in his tome Mary bore a son, James, ensuring an heir to the throne, but things went downhill from there When Henry died in an explosion, Mary was again a widow, but she need not wait too long, as the man accused and acquitted of the act, James Hepburn, soon took her as his wife Guy explores the role that Mary might have had in her second husband s death, as well as how this could have advanced her control in Scotland However, the people of Scotland could see this wily couple for what they seemed and a revolt saw Mary forced to abdicate and pave the way for her one year old son, James VI, to take the throne Fleeing Scotland, Mary sought refuge in England with Elizabeth I, but the English monarch as too cunning to simply provide refuge After keeping Mary captive for over eighteen years, Elizabeth I had her sister executed after found guilting of plotting an assassination plot Perhaps Mary ought never to have made a claim to the English Throne all those years ago John Guy takes the reader through this tumultuous life with a great dealdetail than I expected, which thickens the plot and will keep readers astounded until the final page turn in a tome that has recently been made into a full length movie Recommended to history buffs like myself who seek something meaty about the goings on in 16th century Europe, as well as the reader who loves all things regal and full of intrigue.As with many of the biographies that I have read over the years, John Guy does a formidable job of laying down the groundwork for a strong story and builds on it from there His attention to detail and formulation of a strong narrative helps keep the biography moving along Guy is able to convey the highly varied and exciting life lived by Mary throughout, paying particular attention to some of thedramatic aspects that led to her downfall Some may wonder why my summary paragraph was much shorter than usual I chose not to reveal much, as I wanted other readers to learn many of the nuggets I found throughout The book paced itself nicely, allowing the story to develop and the reader to discover some of the nuances in Mary s life, particularly her life as a monarch Guy s use of many documents not used for centuries helps to answer some questions past historians have left out while also challenging many of the norms history has attributed to this most controversial queen Guy presents these documents in the text, at times explaining their significance to the reader and discussing how some of this is new ground that will flavour his tome differently from what others have noticed I found myself better acquainted with the key actors in this dramatic Europeans monarchical soap opera and would love to see the film based on this book, if only to discover if the clashes between Elizabeth and Mary were as subtle as they appear herein Guy transports the reader back centuries, but brings the entire story to life in the present His longer chapters are through and his easy to comprehend narrative makes for a wonderful learning experience that does not get too academic I hope to findof his work in the coming years to educate myself ontopics Kudos, Mr Guy for a fabulous review I cannot wait to readof your work This book fulfils Topic 2 Time Traveller, in the Equinox 9 reading challenge.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge

  3. fourtriplezed fourtriplezed says:

    To say this was a sympathetic biography of Mary Queen of Scots would do an injustice to the word sympathetic I hate to use the word hagiography but this is as close as it gets The author is a specialist in Tudor history and is to be respected but I have come away from this very readable book, and I mean very readable, profoundly confused He has, in my opinion, let his deep research into the subject cloud his judgement in the presentation of the biography His sympathy spoils the entire narrat To say this was a sympathetic biography of Mary Queen of Scots would do an injustice to the word sympathetic I hate to use the word hagiography but this is as close as it gets The author is a specialist in Tudor history and is to be respected but I have come away from this very readable book, and I mean very readable, profoundly confused He has, in my opinion, let his deep research into the subject cloud his judgement in the presentation of the biography His sympathy spoils the entire narrative Yes he is occasionally critical of Mary s decisions but then there seems to be excuses Lets be honest, her decision to marry Bothwell must rank as one of the most ludicrous acts by a reigning monarch in British history Yes the author says as much but makes excuses I was almost waiting for Stockholm Syndrome to be evoked after she was raped by Bothwell The superlatives used to describe Mary are constant throughout intelligent, ingenious, razor sharp And in the end when things have gone disastrously wrong we get told she was unlucky Well yes, maybe, but her bad luck is apparently just a constant throughout her life The author works hard to make it all very unlucky that way via some very sympathetic eulogising I tended to want him to tell the story and let me decide, not editorialise.My other major criticism is the use of the sources I have to be critical of the notes, sources and the bibliography used in the research for the fact they are not mapped by footnotes The book is a revisionist opinion and that is fair enough, but with that, if the author going to make statements as to it being a cold day , one of the protagonists feeling happy , sad or indifferent at least map the source via a footnote I mean if Mary was born in the coldest winter first page of the first chapter what was the source This was constant throughout and a distraction from a very good history to tell So with all that in mind would I recommend this to others who are interested in the life of Mary Queen of Scots Yes as at its best this is an an extremely interesting book I just wish the author had been a bitcircumspect in his delivery

  4. Ken Ken says:

    I d planned to read this prior to the movie release, but it soon became apparent with the level of in depth research on a complicated period in British history that I wouldn t finish this in time.That s a massive compliment to the author, it s a time that I m overly familiar with and with each chapter I was continuing to learn so much.As Guy carefully explains what life was like for Mary, from the daily living conditions to the political climate at the time It s also non fiction, so I wasn t to I d planned to read this prior to the movie release, but it soon became apparent with the level of in depth research on a complicated period in British history that I wouldn t finish this in time.That s a massive compliment to the author, it s a time that I m overly familiar with and with each chapter I was continuing to learn so much.As Guy carefully explains what life was like for Mary, from the daily living conditions to the political climate at the time It s also non fiction, so I wasn t too worried about spoilers I knew how Mary s story ended I ve seen a few people say that the film was slow, but having read a substantial amount prior to watching the movie I felt that I was well equipped to just still back and enjoy both Ronan s and Robbie s performances.I m not sure why I don t read much non fiction, as it was so interesting to learnabout this period.Ooh and I loved the movie too

  5. Gina Gina says:

    This is a well researched and well written, detailed story of Mary, Queen of Scots It seems to me that history has kind of pushed Mary under the carpet so to speak There doesn t seem to be as much written about her when compared to the Tudor period in England or Russia s storied czars and leaders.Mary truly was a courageous woman, and her life was filled with continual drama It took extreme determination on her part to demand her claim to the throne of Scotland and later England be recognized This is a well researched and well written, detailed story of Mary, Queen of Scots It seems to me that history has kind of pushed Mary under the carpet so to speak There doesn t seem to be as much written about her when compared to the Tudor period in England or Russia s storied czars and leaders.Mary truly was a courageous woman, and her life was filled with continual drama It took extreme determination on her part to demand her claim to the throne of Scotland and later England be recognized It seems to me that prior tomes based on her life were either shrouded in bias she was either loved or vilified However, John Guy uses documents that were heretofore undiscovered to reveal the true Mary Stuart It makes for very interesting reading for anyone who is a history buff, a follower of all things royal, or someone who just enjoys a good factual read.Like many royals, Mary faces betrayals, deceit, others who would take her crown, and religious zealots.Whether the Mary, Queen of Scots you learned about was shown to be a saint, a martyr, or a demon, this book may change the way you look at her and her place in the history books

  6. Fiona Fiona says:

    I enjoyed this book but found it difficult not to be furious with Mary s stupidity and short sightedness, not to mention her vanity which allowed her to be easily led by similarly vain and ambitious men Guy perhaps is a little in love with Mary and the book lacks incisiveness and impartiality because of it but it s still one of the best biographies I ve read.

  7. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Interesting insight on what Mary was really like but the author is VERY biased in her favour and bends over backwards to show her in a favourable light, often to the detriment of others I wonder how he feels about the recent revelations by medical historians that for it to be apparent that Mary had miscarried Bothwell s twins rather than a single baby , she must have been at least five months pregnant 16th century medicine would not have been able to discern twin foetuses before that stage Interesting insight on what Mary was really like but the author is VERY biased in her favour and bends over backwards to show her in a favourable light, often to the detriment of others I wonder how he feels about the recent revelations by medical historians that for it to be apparent that Mary had miscarried Bothwell s twins rather than a single baby , she must have been at least five months pregnant 16th century medicine would not have been able to discern twin foetuses before that stage This means Mary was pregnant by Bothwell before Darnley s murder, and gives her a compelling motive for wanting to get her husband out of the way She was almost certainly complicit in his murder and she not only failed to make any serious effort to bring her husband s killers to justice, she married one of them The Casket Letters may well be forged but they are beside the point really as Mary s actions speak for themselves.Anyone wanting to read a ratherhonest account of Mary s life and character would do better to read An Accidental Tragedy by Roderick Graham, which treats Mary as the flawed human being she was, and even explains how the cult of Mary Stewart with all its silly myths, developed after her death

  8. Colleen Browne Colleen Browne says:

    In a word, this book is brilliant The breadth of research and expertise in writing makes this the best book I have read in quite a while John Guy plumbed the depths of the archives to discover new evidence about Mary and constructed a great book His attention to detail and writing ability makes it a must read for anyone with an interest in history Mary s story at once allows the reader to understand the obstacles faced by female rulers Her dynastic parentage meant that she would be sought In a word, this book is brilliant The breadth of research and expertise in writing makes this the best book I have read in quite a while John Guy plumbed the depths of the archives to discover new evidence about Mary and constructed a great book His attention to detail and writing ability makes it a must read for anyone with an interest in history Mary s story at once allows the reader to understand the obstacles faced by female rulers Her dynastic parentage meant that she would be sought after by monarchies anxious to join forces to form powerful alliances in the rough and tumble politics of 16th Century Europe She was married to the Dauphin, Henry and it looked as if she had a successful marriage and a successful future life in France, but also in England where her dynastic rights awaited Sadly, her marriage to the dauphin would be cut short by his very early death As a toddler, she had been crowned queen of Scotland and after being widowed, traveled there to assume her crown What she could not have known was that she was monarch over a split and disorganized country Her lords, including her half brother, did not accept the idea of a woman queen and decided that they would control her from the start When she proved to be her own woman, the plots that would eventually bring about her downfall began She would be imprisoned for 18 years, all the while hoping and pleading with Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, for an intervention that never came Elizabeth s right hand man Cecil, a devout and maniacal Protestant planned the Catholic Mary s downfall from the moment she left France The rest, I leave to other readers to learn

  9. Orsolya Orsolya says:

    Mary, Queen of Scots, doesn t have the best reputation Said to have ruled with her heart rather than her head Mary Stuart was surrounded by drama, heartbreak, forced to abdicate her throne, and eventually beheaded after being held captive in England Yet, there is much to credit Mary that many people overlook Historian John Guy attempts to rehabilitate this infamous woman in, Queen of Scots The True Life of Mary Stuart Guy presents Queen of Scots as a full fledged biography beginning wi Mary, Queen of Scots, doesn t have the best reputation Said to have ruled with her heart rather than her head Mary Stuart was surrounded by drama, heartbreak, forced to abdicate her throne, and eventually beheaded after being held captive in England Yet, there is much to credit Mary that many people overlook Historian John Guy attempts to rehabilitate this infamous woman in, Queen of Scots The True Life of Mary Stuart Guy presents Queen of Scots as a full fledged biography beginning with a description of Mary s birth and subsequent childhood This beginning is slightly less evasive to the actual Mary as Guy focuseson the environment around Mary and of key figures in her life versus just of Mary herself It can be argued that Guy goes slightly off tangents at times However, stick to the reading as Queen of Scots does reveal Maryas the pages progress.Readers need not worry that Guy puts Mary on a pedestal merely to reverse the consensus image of her character Rather, Queen of Scots is actually quite straight forward and a better formed big picture portrait of Mary than most other biographies.Guy does suffer from his usual tendency of making speculative and would have and could have statements Luckily, based on other books of his I have read Queen of Scots is the least to overuse these Guy s prose and text is also a bit too flowery and visual which is also a habit of his and means he could pen a terrific HF novel which deters some readers On the other hand, this writing style prevents Queen of Scots from being too dry and scholarly and thus heightens the pace In other flaws, Guy sometimes backtracks in time and events when presenting information which can cause confusion with readers Also evident is repetition literally There are phrases which appear almost copy pasted I m not sure how the editor missed this.On a positive note, Queen of Scots is peppered with myth debunking and detective work performed by Guy In fact, some of the information is fresh or explored in a way that even those readers familiar with the life of Mary will find amusing, revealing, and interesting Queen of Scots sort of shifts gears from a biography to an investigative piece when discussing the murder of Darnley Guys presents this event in a court case like manner and proceeds to break down the history and subsequent events in points of view of Mary, Bothwell, and the nobility This is done in a very well rounded and complete way revealing multiple angles and information previously not discussed Guy even quotes documents not mentioned by historians since the 1800s This helps explain Mary s position in a far better conclusive way than other biographies Yet, Guy doesn t push his beliefs or biases he merely gives a better insight for readers to make their own judgments while debunking myths.On similar grounds, Guy s discussion of the Casket Letters and its impact is thorough, riveting, and muchin depth and investigative than many other sources Again, all sides are explored and myths are exposed debunked resulting in compelling reading Sadly, concluding chapters slow down in pace and return to a biography style which isn t necessarily a problem The problem is that Guy seems to rush over topics and Queen of Scots feels as though a deadline was approaching or the word count was being met and therefore Guy had to wrap it up The epilogue of Queen of Scots features a strong summary of Mary s legacy followed by chronological time lines of events both in Mary s life and in Britain during her lifetime This is followed by annotated notes and a section of sources a satisfying amount of primary sources were used Guy also infuses Queen of Scots with two sections of black and white photo plates Queen of Scots is a very well written, heavily researched biography which takes a unique investigative look at Mary s life offering an out of the box view without simply hero worshipping her Queen of Scots is recommended for all readers interested in British history, queens, and Mary, herself Queen of Scots is definitely one of Guy s stronger works

  10. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Good read but too biased and tries to present Mary as a far better person than the evidence suggests she could possibly have been What are we to think of a woman who, when the husband she loathes is murdered, gives his horse and some of his clothes to the man EVERYONE says is the killer What should we think when she refuses to allowthan a show trial at which the court is surrounded by armed men employed by the defendant, who threatens to kill anyone who speaks out of turn What should Good read but too biased and tries to present Mary as a far better person than the evidence suggests she could possibly have been What are we to think of a woman who, when the husband she loathes is murdered, gives his horse and some of his clothes to the man EVERYONE says is the killer What should we think when she refuses to allowthan a show trial at which the court is surrounded by armed men employed by the defendant, who threatens to kill anyone who speaks out of turn What should we think when the widow marries that defendant less than three months after the murder And what do we conclude when the widow, pregnant by the murderer, miscarries of twins, bearing in mind that in the 16th century it wouldn t have been possible to tell the foetuses were twins until five months into the pregnancy, so that conception must have taken place well before her husband s murder but after her estrangement from him Is she not condemned by these actions, irrespective of the Casket Letters For a much better and quite unbiased account of Mary s life, read An Accidental Tragedy, by Roderick Graham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *