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Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord…

Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley (2003)

by Alison Weir

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I've always thought Mary was a naive dolt, playing at politics and assassination like she was in a Lord Byron poem. Hopefully this book will give me a better sense of whether that was true, or if she actually had a better idea or rationale for what she was doing.
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Normally, I love Alison Weir's books. The reader can always count on extensive research and astute reasoning, but this one was a slog. We're talking about one of the most perplexing historical figures of all time in Mary, Queen of Scots and yet, it just dragged on. And on and on.

She was the bosom serpent. The 16th Century Princess Diana of her day. Emotional, needy, irrational, and limelight-loving, she just couldn't handle the heat. Her first husband was the King of France and her second was found dead after his abode blew apart in the middle of the night (though he himself was not blown apart). Who actually killed Lord Darnley? History always seemed to be written by the powerful Tudors, so Mary probably received too much blame, but she didn't appear to be the brightest stalk in the field.

Granted, there is excitement in the beginning, as we learn of her early life and the constant non-stop intrigues of the always-false Scot Lords. Then it all bogs down, as Weir tries to convince us of Mary's non-compliance. Yes, I get that Buchanan and Knox and Morton and Moray were her enemies and lied. I just didn't need several hundred pages of the he said/she said paragraphing.

In fact, the most exciting character in the book is Lord Bothwell, who was Mary's, and Scotland's, one loyal subject...until he raped her and married her...and then died stark, raving mad in a horrible Swedish dungeon. Poor Mary.

Book Season = Winter (Snow. Scotland. Enough said) ( )
  Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
Another Weir book that was well researched, It had so many details into the life of Mary and all her Lords of Scotland and how she ended up marrying Darnley. (was it really all a plot hatched by her cousin Elizabeth l?) Did Mary really have her husband murdered? A book you must read if your in the history of Tudor/Elizabethan and Stuart England and Scotland. ( )
  luckycharm6139 | Jul 10, 2013 |
I have been reading this book almost this year now, as it is a very long, very fascinating history of Mary Queen of Scots, and how the murder of her second husband set off a chain of events that resulted in her being removed from her throne, and eventually executed. I first became interested in learning more about Mary after reading The Italian Secretary, which centers around the murder of her confidant, Rizzio, and once I actually visited Holyrood Palace, I began looking for a book that could teach me more. I found a copy of Allison Weir's tome at a book sale, and snatched it up.

Weir has clearly done her research, and whether or not you agree with her final conclusion that Mary was innocent in the murder of Darnley, you can't help but get drawn into this amazing true story of intrigue, violence, mystery, love, betrayal, and the fate of two kingdoms. It is occasionally hard to keep straight who is who, but Weir does an excellent job of making all the facts easy to follow and easy to understand. ( )
1 vote seasonsoflove | Nov 24, 2012 |
Overly detailed from my point of view ( )
  JanicsEblen | Mar 5, 2012 |
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God will never permit such a mischief to remain hidden.
- written by the Scottish Privy Council to Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, on the morning after Darnley's murder
This book is dedicated to the memory of Joyce Masterton and David Knowles, two great Scots
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Few souls were abroad in Edinburgh after midnight on 9 February 1567. (prologue)
The murder of Lord Darnley is the most celebrated mystery in Scottish history; it has been endlessly recounted by numerous historians and writers, and the question that has most exercised all of them is this: was Mary, Queen of Scots the instigator of, or a party to, the murder of her husband? (introduction)
To everyone's dismay, the baby born to James V of Scotland and his second wife, Marie de Guise, on 8 December 1542 at Linlithgow Palace was a girl.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812971515, Paperback)

Handsome, accomplished, and charming, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, staked his claim to the English throne by marrying Mary Stuart, who herself claimed to be the Queen of England. It was not long before Mary discovered that her new husband was interested only in securing sovereign power for himself. Then, on February 10, 1567, an explosion at his lodgings left Darnley dead; the intrigue thickened after it was discovered that he had apparently been suffocated before the blast. After an exhaustive reevaluation of the source material, Alison Weir has come up with a solution to this enduring mystery. Employing her gift for vivid characterization and gripping storytelling, Weir has written one of her most engaging excursions yet into Britain’s bloodstained, power-obsessed past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:46 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The author's investigation into Lord Darnley's murder is set against one of the most dramatic periods in English history. Its conclusions shed light on the actions and motives of the conspirators and, in particular, the extent of Mary's own involvement. After exhaustive reexamination and reevaluation of the source material, the author has come up with a solution to this enduring mystery of the Casket Letters that can be substantiated by contemporary evidence, and in the process has shattered many of the misconceptions about Mary, Queen of Scots.… (more)

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