Although historians often cast the dismissal of her playmates in a harsh light, Poissy was only a few miles from Saint Germain. The Four Maries often visited the palace on weekends and holidays. They had not been exiled to an austere convent in a backwater location. The convent school at Saint Louis Priory provided a high-quality liberal education to its aristocratic students. Even religious policies were flexible to a degree. Marie Livingston, whose family embraced the new learning, was encouraged but not forced to attend Mass. By the time the Four Maries reached puberty, they were well educated and highly polished French girls, ready to be integrated into the life at the French court. Nevertheless, their place in the life of the Queen had been taken by the Princesses Elisabeth and Claude, and their brother Francois, the Dauphin.
By the time she was eleven, the Queen of Scots might well have been homesick for her mother, but there is no reason to think she missed or even remembered the land of which she was sovereign. (Read more.)Share