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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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221981,431 (3.54)7
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. 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. 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.… (more)



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I"m very proud of myself for making it completely through one of Weir's books. All by myself. And on a plane. I'm struck by what big players women were in the Tudor world. ( )
  TheLoisLevel | May 7, 2019 |
Had I not listened to this on audio I would’ve given up on it. If Alison Weir wasn’t one of my favourite authors I would’ve stopped listening anyway. I did still fast-forward a couple of bits, as extensive inventories do not make for compelling reading.

Despite the meticulous research, this is a very dry biography, which would’ve benefited from some heavy editing.

As well as tedious lists of fabrics, jewellery, etc., at times the focus shifts to other personages that bear little – if any – relevance to the subject matter. For example, I see no need whatsoever for recalling Margaret Pole’s horrific execution.

Not being a poetry fan, my concentration ebbed during poems reproduced by Margaret Tudor and some of her contemporaries, though at least these were relevant to the biography.

We also get much of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I’s stories rehashed, too, which should’ve been limited.

At times I felt engaged by the narrative, but the dry narrative, the excess detail, the amount of poetry, and the wandering-off-topic moments spoil what could’ve been an entertaining biography. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jan 9, 2019 |
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 |
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