The Life of Mary Queen of Scots: An Accidental Tragedy

Roderick Graham, Author . Pegasus $40 (542p) ISBN 978-1-60598-049-2

French-raised Mary Stuart's life began with tragedy and ended with tragedy for both the monarch and Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots has not always been shown in a positive light, but Graham's pro-Elizabeth bias appears in his showcasing of the instincts of wily, intellectual Queen Elizabeth against naïve, spoiled Mary. Raised in a “gilded cage” in France to be an ornamental object at court, she ignored governing and deadly court politics as long as she could, and she routinely irritated her English counterpart, Elizabeth. Unsuccessful as ruler in a fragile Scotland, the queen grew even unhappier as the wife of John Darnley, a syphilitic narcissist. All in all, Graham, producer of BBC-TV's Elizabeth, narrates Mary's short life as a hellish fairy tale for naughty children, ending with the queen's grisly death. This dense biography in strongest in carefully detailing the Western European political atmosphere of Mary's youth and nimbly describes the Scottish nobles' machinations to improve their lot before forcing her to abdicate. 16 pages of illus. (July 22)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-60598-141-3
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