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. The ambitious de Guises sent eighteen-year-old Mary back to Scotland, envisioning a unified claim to the thrones of Scotland, France and England. 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). 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.
Im not sure why I dont read much non-fiction, as it was so interesting to learn more about this period.
Yes he is occasionally critical of Mary's decisions but then there seems to be excuses. Yes the author says as much but makes excuses. 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. So with all that in mind would I recommend this to others who are interested in the life of Mary Queen of Scots?
This is a well researched and well written, detailed story of Mary, Queen of Scots. 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.
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.
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 Marys birth and subsequent childhood. Rather, Queen of Scots is actually quite straight forward and a better-formed big picture portrait of Mary than most other biographies. In other flaws, Guy sometimes backtracks in time and events when presenting information which can cause confusion with readers. 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. Yet, Guy doesnt push his beliefs or biases; he merely gives a better insight for readers to make their own judgments while debunking myths. Queen of Scots is a very well-written, heavily researched biography which takes a unique investigative look at Marys life offering an out of-the-box view without simply hero worshipping her.
What should we think when the widow marries that defendant less than three months after the murder?
I do think Guy could have cited some more specifics in the footnotes, because there were so many instances where he states that Mary "burst into tears". To be able to visit the places that Mary lived and see Edinburgh itself really enriched my reading of this!
John Guy is recognised as one of Britain's most exciting and scholarly historians, bringing the past to life with the written word and on the broadcast media with accomplished ease. His ability for first class story-telling and books that read as thrillingly as a detective story makes John Guy a Chandleresque writer of the history world. Today he's turning history books on their head as he wins universal praise and the 2004 Whitbread Prize for biography for his thrilling account of the life of Mary Queen of Scots. Having read History under the supervision of Professor Sir Geoffrey Elton, the pre-eminent Tudor scholar of the late-twentieth century, John Guy took a First and became a Research Fellow of Selwyn College in 1970. John Guy has lectured extensively on Early Modern British History and Renaissance Political Thought in both Britain and the United States.