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The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady…

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas

by Alison Weir

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Alison Weir explains her research and sources well. She includes many quotes and interesting details from primary source materials. The portraiture chapter is particularly interesting about how and why some portraits have been attributed to different individuals. ( )
  Smoscoso | May 5, 2018 |
Margaret Douglas was born into royalty. Daughter of the Queen of Scotland, niece of the King of England she was a pawn for the dynastic manoeuvring of her political family. However as a Tudor there was an added layer of complication where potential heirs to the throne were both family and threats. Imprisoned in the Tower of London twice for falling in love without approval, Margaret finally married the Earl of Lennox and had a happy marriage. Margaret was not content with this and her dynastic machinations enabled her to marry her son, Lord Darnley, to Mary giving an heir to the thrones of both Scotland and England. Beset by financial troubles Margaret kept her Catholic faith to the end and her dynasty still rules to this day.

A new biography by Alison Weir is a real treat and this is no exception. Weir knows her subject inside and out and is able to link sources with alacrity. Given the very politically biased nature of the source material Weir plots an unbiased and honest path showing great insights. Whilst aware of Darnley I hadn't know a lot about Margaret but her role in the succession plots was central ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
Why do I keep giving Weir chance after chance. Yet another 500 plus pages of history lessons replacing much lacking fact. Another case of quantity over quality.

Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, mother of Darnley and mother-in-law of Mary Queen of Scots - yes, a lost Tudor princess; yes, a woman whose life deserves the spotlight; yes, another case where fact is more interesting than fiction. A woman whose life reveals to us very little - and yet - 500 plus pages!

I have said this over and over - I would rather 100 pages of what is known rather than 500 pages of boring, rehashed history, personal opinion, and filling in the gaps with dates and documents. As I stated in my review of Weir's "Elizabeth or York" - "I am trying very hard to fathom the amount of actual information there is on Elizabeth that was worthy of 600 odd pages - quite frankly it required barely a quarter in my opinion. The larger the book ... overcompensating for a distinct lack of anything else.". The same can be said, I am sorry to say, of this tome on Margaret Douglas. ( )
  Melisende | Mar 2, 2017 |
This was a highly engaging account of the life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox. Margaret was a niece of Henry VIII and a first cousin of his daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Margaret was of a passionate nature, and her life mainly consisted of advancing the claims of her sons to the throne England. At times her actions were treasonous, and one wonders why Elizabeth I never put her cousin to death for her schemes. Margaret was the mother-in-law of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the grandmother of King James VI of Scotland. Following Elizabeth I's death, he became James I of England, thus uniting the thrones of Scotland and England, and realizing all of his grandmother's ambitions.

One of the things I liked most about the book was the apparent love story between Margaret and her husband, Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox. During their imprisonment in the Tower of London, the two wrote poetry to each other, and many of these poems are included in the book. I also felt sorry for Margaret at the loss of her first love, Lord Thomas Howard.

Alison Weir is to be commended for this fine addition to Tudor history. It's the story of a key player in that saga. ( )
  briandrewz | May 30, 2016 |
Margaret Douglas was a niece of Henry VIII, born of his sister Margaret Tudor's second marriage to Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus; her first was to James IV, King of Scotland (making her the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots). In the drawn out battles of Tudor succession, Margaret Douglas played a prominent role. As a Catholic, her possible claim to the throne was supported by many of her faith, both at home and abroad, but the fact that she was born in Scotland excluded her. However, her son Henry, Lord Darnley, who was born in England, gave hope to the Catholic cause, particularly after his marriage to his cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Weir outlines Margaret Douglas's heritage and the difficult years she had under the reigns of her uncle and, subsequently, her cousins Edward and Elizabeth. (She was, for the short time that Mary reigned, in favor at court.) Her plans for marriage to two men of the Howard family were thwarted, but she finally married Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox, a prominent Scottish nobleman who had pledged allegiance to Henry VIII. Theirs was a long and loving marriage--but not one without its problems, both personal and political. Margaret, who had suffered several miscarriages and the deaths of infant children, never got over the murder of her son, Lord Darnley, in Scotland, and she suffered from being kept from ever seeing her grandson, James, child king of Scotland and later successor to Elizabeth I.

Weir's biography, while interesting, is long, minutely detailed, and somewhat repetitious. Anyone researching the religious and dynastic issues of sixteenth-century England will find her to be a lesser-known but important figure. It is not, however, light reading for the casual Tudor junkie. Still, Margaret's story emphasizes the difficult lives of women in the period, even wealthy women of royal blood. ( )
2 vote Cariola | Mar 4, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0224089803, Hardcover)

"Alison Weir is one of our best popular historians and one, moreover, with an impressive scholarly pedigree in Tudor history." --Frank McLynn, Independent
     Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs. Some thought she should be queen of England. She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal, not just once, but twice, by falling in love with unsuitable men, which led to the passing of the first Act of Parliament to regulate royal marriages. Fortunately, the marriage arranged for her turned into a love match. Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on three occasions, once under sentence of death. She helped to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the sixteenth century, but it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there were rumours that she herself was poisoned. She warred with two queens, Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. A brave survivor, she was instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson.
     Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was a prominent and important figure in Tudor England, and yet today, when her Tudor relations have achieved almost celebrity status, she is largely forgotten. Her story deserves to be better known. This is the biography of an extraordinary life that spanned five Tudor reigns, a life packed with intrigue, drama and tragedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:23:17 -0400)

From New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir comes the first biography of Lady Mary Douglas, the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII of England, who used her sharp intelligence and covert power to influence the Tudor succession after the death of Elizabeth I. --Publisher.… (more)

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