I learned a great deal more about the monarchs of Scotland, their dealings with the Reformation and with the Tudors, all of which build a stage for the tragic destiny of Mary Queen of Scots. The reign of Mary Stewart is placed in a fresh context in which to discover her anew. After spending time with Mary’s grandparents and great-grandparents I feel that I am finally becoming acquainted with her. One is also treated to the doings of the French court and the Empire, and Henry VIII’s endless connivances. If it was not already clear, it is now abundantly so, that having a male heir was the obsession of every monarch in Europe, to which the love of women was secondary. Porter’s research is seemingly inexhaustible for presenting intriguing new facts, along with a storyteller’s gift for a heartrending tale.
*Note: This book was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.
(This review originally appeared in the November 2014 edition of the Historical Novels Review.) Share