“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”.
To say that I couldn’t put this book down, would be an understatement. All I wanted to do was find out more on Mary and the people around her.
It was a bit slow to begin with, I think it was mainly due to the fact that I wanted to only hear about Mary and no one else, but I began to start appreciating Antonia Fraser setting the scene.
We don’t just learn about Mary, but what it was like during that time period. Why she needed, at such a young age, to escape her homeland of Scotland for France.
I think what shocked me, which shouldn’t because I knew the TV show Reign got it completely wrong, was Francis II. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, because I really think you should read this book if you want the truth on Mary, Queen of Scots.
Even when she returned to Scotland, there were a lot of things that made me angry, mainly John Knox, but it is this notion of people giving false information that ruins her character for the future. This smear on her name is mainly due with the “Casket Letters” and her involvement in the death of her second husband. Not only are we affected by it today, but her son was brought up thinking his mother was an evil murderer.
I won’t go too much into it, because the temptation (if possible) to travel back in time and give a good smack behind the head to these people is tempting.
The only problem I have with this book, and I believe it has been brought up by a few people, is the translation in the book… There isn’t any.
There are a few lines that are in either French or sometimes in another language, and instead of having the translation as a footnote, it’s nowhere to be found. Which means I have to stop reading and search the translation up online.
Not a big deal, but it was annoying at times.
I cannot recommend this book enough. If it’s possible, I would make everyone read about this incredible woman, give them a new and correct way of looking at Mary, Queen of Scots. Antonia Fraser did a magnificent job on describing characters, settings, feelings and everything else in between. I will definitely be picking up more of her books.
EN MA FIN EST MON COMMENCEMENT
(In my end is my beginning)
My star rating is: