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The memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots
Carolly Erickson
Adult Fiction ERICKSO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Erickson (The Tsarina's Daughter) focuses on the life of Mary Stuart, queen of Scots, in this lackluster historical. Feared as a contender for the English throne, Mary lived much of her life in captivity. Erickson retraces Mary's entire life, from her youthful marriage to a French king to her secret relationship with James Hepburn, the earl of Bothwell, and finally her 1587 execution at age 44 for treason, ordered by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth. Throughout, Mary lives under the shadow of a prophecy, dooming her to a tragic end. Though she lived in tumultuous times, Mary's story-fraught as it is with long periods of confinement-is not particularly exciting. Nor does she make for a compelling heroine, seeming content to wait on the sidelines and let others act for her. Queen Elizabeth's brief appearances enliven the story a bit, but not enough to save it. Readers desperate for Tudor-Stuart intrigue may find this palatable but not enthralling. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In her latest "historical entertainment," Erickson (The Tsarina's Daughter) blends fact with fancy as she unravels the life story and tragic end of Mary, Queen of Scots. As an infant, Mary inherits the Scottish crown; at age 15 she marries Francis, the sickly dauphin of France. When Francis dies, Mary fears treachery at the hands of her mother-in-law, Catherine de Medici, and flees to her homeland, but the largely Protestant Scots are suspicious of her Catholic faith. Tensions rise, and after the mysterious death of Mary's second husband, Lord Darnley, an uprising forces her from the throne. Thus begins her many years of imprisonments, escapes, and schemes-for Mary believes that she, and not her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, is England's true queen. Verdict Though occasionally uneven, the narrative clips along at a suspenseful pace, and Erickson's depiction of Mary is more engaging than that of her previous female historical characters. The vividly realized relationship between Mary and her Scottish consort, Jamie, is the strongest aspect of the book. Recommended for historical fiction fans who enjoy Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy and can't read enough novels about this period.-Jamie Kallio, Thomas Ford Memorial Lib., Western Springs, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mary Stuart
Age: 1542-1587
Married at a young age to the invalid French king; took the reigns of the kingdom of Scotland as a young widow and fought to keep her throne; her second marriage to her cousin Lord Darnley ended in scandal and murder; married the love of her life, Lod Brothwell, her third husband; gained a bad reputation; fled to England; became a prisoner to her ruthless cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who ordered her execution for treason.

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