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My Heart Is My Own : The Life of Mary Queen…
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My Heart Is My Own : The Life of Mary Queen of Scots (original 2004; edition 2004)

by John A. Guy (Author)

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933922,576 (3.97)43
Biography & Autobiography. History. Nonfiction. HTML:

This Whitbread Awardâ??winning biography and basis for the film Mary Queen of Scotsstarring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie "reads like Shakespearean drama" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
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"A triumph . . . A masterpiece full of fire and tragedy." â??Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana

In the first full-scale biography of Mary Stuart in more than thirty years, John Guy creates an intimate and absorbing portrait of one of history's greatest women, depicting her world and her place in the sweep of history with stunning immediacy. Bringing together all surviving documents and uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time, Guy dispels the popular image of Mary Queen of Scots as a romantic leading ladyâ??achieving her ends through feminine wilesâ??and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I.

Through Guy's pioneering research and superbly readable prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. Queen of Scots is an enthralling, myth-shattering look at a complex woman and ruler and her time.

"The definitive biography . . . Gripping . . . A pure pleasure to read." â??The Washington Post Book World

"Reads like Shakespearean drama, with all the delicious plotting and fresh writing to go with it." â??The Atlanta Journal-Con… (more)

Member:Sommesoldier
Title:My Heart Is My Own : The Life of Mary Queen of Scots
Authors:John A. Guy (Author)
Info:Fourth Estate (2004), Edition: First Edition, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
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Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Before we begin, I have no mind for what's considered a spoiler and what isn't so, fair warning - POSSIBLE SPOILERS ahead. I also use bad language, so read at your risk.

Let me start by saying that holy shit is this book long. Remind me to never pick up a 500+ page book again, good lord. I thought I would never finish it! I also want to say that I watched the movie first and later found out that there was a book about it so I was excited because I loved the movie. History is not my strongest interest and most are boring to me. I have so many problems in my life, I don't care to read about the problems of my ancestors, but there are a few points in history that, if told right, really interest me. This is one of them.

John Guy did an excellent job of going through fact and fiction to provide the best possible account of Mary's life and the problems she faced. And boy is it a ride.

Even now, after finishing the book, I'm left wondering if Mary was truly a victim or not. I feel like she was a victim of greedy assholes who cared only for their own wants and using her a simple stepping stone despite being a goddamn queen. How could this shit happen to her? She's a QUEEN, is that not the highest role possible? How could they get away with so much shit against her without even facing consequences for it? I felt so annoyed and angry while I read this book and I truly hope that the rebel lords and that dickbag Cecil are burning in hell for their treachery.

I feel like I didn't fully understand this book for two reasons:
1. I don't understand how ANYONE understood what people were saying back then. When he included inserts of what they wrote, I had to read it several times before my brain could process the words as they were written.
2. So many words I've never heard of or couldn't pronounce. If I had written down each one to look up and try to learn the meaning of, I think I would have had a book of my own lol John Guy is much smarter than I am.

I really can't stand the rebel lords. They are power-hungry bastards and THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT. That's what pisses me off the most. And Cecil, I fucking HATE Cecil and to think that he had a wonderful life after Mary's execution frustrates me to no fucking end. And And HER SON. Like, what the fuck, kid? It's not her fault you never got to know her, SHE WAS FECKIN' IMPRISONED HALF HER LIFE. For him to completely denounce her, I.... I am getting way too heated over this.

Elizabeth wasn't innocent either. She refused to meet with Mary because she was a fucking coward. She IMPRISONED her because she was naive enough to think that her beloved cousin would actually help her and then she was shocked when Mary "accepted" a plot for her assassination. Anyone that trusted her and then got imprisoned for half their feckin' life for it would eventually grow desperate enough to agree to an assassination to find their freedom. And then she wanted her murdered in the middle of the night without claiming responsibility! The most cowardly queen in the entire world. What a bitch.

And who is she to dictate who Mary can and can't marry?? It isn't her life and they are BOTH queens on equal footing, she has no fucking right. Elizabeth clearly thought she was higher in status than she was. Pathetic.

Mary wasn't innocent, either, though. She trusted time and time again even after being betrayed. She made questionable choices on several occassions, as well. Still, she got royally fucked over by all fronts. From the time she was a child, she was being targeted. Cecil had a serious hard on for her, it's fucking disgusting.

It just goes to show how terrible human beings are. Even family will betray you in a second if they think they can get something out of it. Mary's biggest flaw was that she was far too trusting, too loving for this world. Everyone she knew, that she trusted, betrayed her except for her own mother and the leader of the four Maries. Just shows me that my hatred of human beings is just.

Kids growing up always want to be princesses and princes, kings and queens, but they never realize that in being so, you become a target for everyone. Humans covet power above all else and they will do anything to get it, even if they have to destroy their own family. Mary's story is proof of this.

Wherever her soul may be today, I hope she finds peace.

Another thing I'd like to mention - fuck religion. That's one of the main reasons there was so much turmoil. "My religion is the only religion." "My religion is right, fuck your religion." It's so fucking stupid. What does one person believing something have to do with you? In my opinion, Cecil was so insecure in his own religion and in himself that he was TERRIFIED that Mary's religion would overcome his own and it's stupid. Who cares what someone else believes? Live your own damn life and stop worrying so much about what other people are doing. If you truly believe that your religion is true and just, you don't give a fuck what other people are doing with their own beliefs (unless it's something like killing others who don't believe the same as you, then you should care.) To me, that just proves have pathetic Cecil was. Can you tell I hate him? If not, well... I hate him.

I don't think I've ever gotten so emotionally involved in a historic story before but jesus I hate how this played out. So frustrating!

This book is super detailed and it's obvious that the author put in a lot of effort to get all the facts and to find the proof to tie everything together. He did a great job and, while it was hard for me to read because of it's length, I'm glad I did and I think he deserves praise for this.

Also, fuck Cecil. ( )
  AnnoyingTiger888 | Feb 20, 2024 |
Centuries after her execution, Mary Queen of Scots remains one of the most divisive and enigmatic figures in British history. Was she manipulated and betrayed by those around her? Or was she conniving, untrustworthy, and perhaps even a party to the murder of her own husband?

Those wanting to find out the truth (insofar as “the truth” can be recovered after so much time) could do far worse than to read John Guy’s scholarly, masterful biography. Guy presents Mary as a sympathetic, generous woman who was actually – for a short period, at least – also rather a shrewd political leader. The Scotland of which she was Queen was a divided place, torn apart by competing religious, political and familial factions. She lacked the support of a loyal nobility (one of the considerable advantages possessed by Queen Elizabeth, who is, of necessity, also a major presence in the book). She perhaps did well to hold the country together for as long as she did.

Where did it all go wrong for Mary? Perhaps it all began with her marriage to Darnley – a good husband from the vantage point of a monarch who wanted to bolster her claim to the English throne, but a disastrous one from a personal perspective. Darnley was selfish, scheming, and an inveterate plotter, and while Mary almost certainly had no direct involvement in his assassination – she actually stood to lose a great deal from his death – she could hardly have been expected to mourn the passing of a man who had proved such a disappointment to her.

It was, though, with her marriage to Bothwell that Mary’s tottering reign began to utterly crumble. Bothwell himself is presented as a more rounded figure than is usual – both rough and smooth, he could boast a French education and was charming when it suited him, but he also placed personal ambition far above his feelings for Mary. By marrying him, Mary hoped to unite her factious nobles; in fact, she just exacerbated the country’s internal divisions, and probably sealed her own doom.

Whatever Mary’s flaws and mistakes, however, she ultimately comes across as a warm-hearted, well-rounded woman who might – had things been just slightly different – have been a uniting, rather than a dividing, force. Her accomplishments are not glossed over: despite her personal commitment to Catholicism, she was tolerant of differing views (the same cannot always be said of her opponents, most notably the Protestant preacher John Knox). During her brief reign, she could on occasion be every bit as astute a politician as Elizabeth, which counters her usual image as a woman ruled by her heart rather than her head. Ultimately, though, this was a woman destroyed by in-fighting, political machinations, and the misogyny of her own times. Well worth a read for anyone interested in this most charismatic of monarchs, or in Scottish or British history in general.
( )
  MariBiella | Dec 6, 2015 |
This is a history of the world in which Mary Queen of Scot's was born into, lived her life in and eventually died in. The Renaissance of Europe. Although this is not an historical novel, by the end of the first chapter it had that feeling. Although the book is full of quotes, cites, etc., it is written in more of a narrative style than many other histories I have read. The reader does not need to have a strong background in Renaissance Europe (esp. Scotland, France, & England), the author, John Guy, is quite masterful at integrating needed historical knowledge with the story at hand. This history not only tells the story of Queen Mary, but much of Queen Elizabeth and her court, the French court (with whom Queen Mary had strong familial ties), etc. It is well worth the time... I found reading this story extremely enjoyable! ( )
  PallanDavid | Mar 25, 2014 |
Another book/audio I wouldn't have picked up had it not shown up at my library page. I really enjoyed this book, I'm no expert on non-fiction but I am not always entertained when reading it in the case of Queen of Scots I was rarely distracted while listening because most of what I knew of Mary was somewhat romanticized by the film adaptations I've seen in the past. There were times while listening when I felt the author (and narrator) were somewhat painting Mary's decisions favorably, but this it's not the first time I encounter this problem when it's a historical figure. I suppose that if a person is invested enough in a historical figure to write a book it is because they are interested in them. Still, it's hard to overlook at times. It's not a long audio, and it's very to the point which I appreciate. I'd definitely keep an eye for more John Guy books in the future. ( )
  BookPurring | Aug 4, 2012 |
Very well-written, though sometimes you can get mired in the details. It would almost seem that Mary Stuart was doomed from birth. What would have happened if Francois hadn't died? What if Scotland had retained the Catholic faith, or what if Mary herself had converted to Protestantism?

This is one of my favorite biographies about Mary. Some of the other biographies I have read make her out to be some sort of impulsive, hysterical woman. Perhaps she was on some points, and yes, I think she ruled more with her heart than her head (as opposed to Elizabeth I of England). She was, however, a refined, educated woman who deserved better. Her half-brother, of course, being the snake-in-the-grass that he was, should have been executed long before. ( )
  quillmenow | Jul 25, 2012 |
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Nonfiction. HTML:

This Whitbread Awardâ??winning biography and basis for the film Mary Queen of Scotsstarring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie "reads like Shakespearean drama" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

"A triumph . . . A masterpiece full of fire and tragedy." â??Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana

In the first full-scale biography of Mary Stuart in more than thirty years, John Guy creates an intimate and absorbing portrait of one of history's greatest women, depicting her world and her place in the sweep of history with stunning immediacy. Bringing together all surviving documents and uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time, Guy dispels the popular image of Mary Queen of Scots as a romantic leading ladyâ??achieving her ends through feminine wilesâ??and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I.

Through Guy's pioneering research and superbly readable prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. Queen of Scots is an enthralling, myth-shattering look at a complex woman and ruler and her time.

"The definitive biography . . . Gripping . . . A pure pleasure to read." â??The Washington Post Book World

"Reads like Shakespearean drama, with all the delicious plotting and fresh writing to go with it." â??The Atlanta Journal-Con

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