Queen of Scotland at six days of age, married as a young girl to the invalid young king of France, Mary took the reins of the unruly kingdom of Scotland as a young widow and fought to keep her throne. A second marriage to her handsome but dissolute cousin Lord Darnley ended in murder and scandal, while a third to the dashing Lord Bothwell, the love of her life, gave her joy but widened the scandal and surrounded her with enduring ill repute.
Unable to rise above the violence and disorder that swirled around her, Mary escaped to England—only to find herself a prisoner of her ruthless, merciless cousin Queen Elizabeth.Here, in a riveting first-person account, is the enchanting woman whose name still evokes excitement and compassion—and whose death under the headsman’s axe still draws forth our sorrow.
THE trumpets sounded a brilliant fanfare, the shrill high notes soon lost in the bright April air, and the jousts began.
It was my wedding day, I was fifteen years old and quite content to be marrying the dauphin Francis, the boy prince I had known since we were both very small children. The elaborate, lengthy wedding mass at last over, the jousting to celebrate it was about to begin. Francis and I sat together under the roof of the wooden spectators’ pavilion overlooking the tiltyard, watching as the armored jousters rode in one by one, the crowd cheering and clapping
“The always reliable Erickson mines rich historical territory when she excavates the relatively brief, yet ever-fascinating, life of Mary Queen of Scots for her latest historical tour de force. . . . This intimate reworking of a storied life etched with plenty of royal maneuvering and tragedy will appeal to the usual suspects—steer Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory fans immediately to this satisfying read.”—Booklist
“A fast-paced, lavishly detailed narrative.” —Kirkus Reviews
“As one of the foremost fictionalized biographers writing today, Erickson breathes life into history and brings great women to life. She brilliantly takes Mary, Queen of Scots, out of the historical record and creates a passionate woman readers will understand and adore. . . . Erickson’s engrossing narrative allows Mary to speak and readers to decide what kind of woman she was.”—Romantic Times (4 ½ stars, Top Pick)
“In her latest historical entertainment, Erickson blends fact with fancy as she unravels the life story and tragic end of Mary, Queen of Scots. . . . the narrative clips along at a suspenseful pace . . . The vividly realized relationship between Mary and her Scottish consort, Jamie, is the strongest aspect of the book. Recommended for historical fiction fans who enjoy Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy and can’t read enough novels about this period.”—Library Journal