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Mary Queen Of Scotland And The Isles Paperback – 10 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Edit/Cover edition (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330327909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330327909
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The best kind of historical novel, one the reader can't wait to get lost in." --"San Francisco Chronicle" "A massive, erudite, and entertaining novel that skillfully weaves historical fact and plausible fiction." --"New York Newsday" "George has creative a lively, gallant Mary of intelligence, charm and terrible judgment...A popular, readable, inordinately moving tribute to a remarkable queen." --"Kirkus Reviews "(starred) "A painstakingly researched novel that makes history live. The author's deep sympathy for her subject renders Mary an entirely real and unforgettable heroine." --"Publishers Weekly "(starred) "An evocative portrait."-"-The New York Times Book Review" "Dramatic...Romantic...George makes Mary a heroine to identify with because of her spirit, wit and charm...A triumph." -"-Houston Chronicle"

About the Author

Margaret George is the author of several best-selling novels, including The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Mary, Called Magdalene and, most recently, Elizabeth I. She travels widely to research her novels and lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on 16 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
Mary, Queen of Scots, was the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland.
The tale of this beautiful woman, is one of the great tragedies of British history.
Margaret George, in this long book, brings Mary, and the Scotland, France and England of her time to life.
A sympathetic, but not idealistic portrayal of Mary as a woman who was warmhearted , loyal, brave, generous and spirited, but also unable to read character,volatile and impulsive.
The book takes us from Mary's birth, and her coronation as Queen of Scotland, when she was only a week old,she was shipped to France, for her own safety when she was six years old, together with her companions from early childhood , Mary Livingstone, Mary Fleming, Mary Beaton and Mary Seaton (the four Mary's).
Brought up in the French court , she was married to the Dauphin Francois at the age of 15, and widowed two years later.
She returned to Scotland, after the death of her husband , King Francois II, after his mother Catherine De Medici, made it clear she was no longer welcome in France.
Dealing with conniving Lords and officials , she was clearly outmanouvered at every turn. She was married to the worthless coward, Lord Darnley , who led a gang of conspirators ,into the palace and murdered her chief secretary David Riccio.
Later Darnley himself, died in myterious circumstances , for which George, in this volume, absolves Mary of any responsibility.
She then married her lover, the Earl of Bothwell , for which she lost the throne of Scotland. much due to the influence of the fiery Protestant preacher , John Knox, who nursed a vicious hatred of Mary.
She fled to England , where she was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I , and after 20 years, was accused of plotting against Elizabeth, and executed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all military history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Like most people, I have a passing familiarity with the historical figure, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland. However, in almost every instance, Mary's story is told in conjunction with that of her English cousin Elizabeth Tudor. Rarely do you see reference to her early years or even her reign in Scotland. In most renditions, her story begins in the custody of Elizabeth. In this book, we get the entire life history of Mary, and what a life it was!

The meat of the novel deals with the political and religious intrigue inherent in Mary's relatively short Scottish reign. Her contentious relationship with the Protestant (Mary was famously Catholic) Scottish Kirk and its leader John Knox. Her constant power struggles with her half brother James and the shifting loyalties of the Scottish nobility. A fascinating and highly instructive treatment on the subjects of religious intolerance and the related struggle for power.

Finally, in the last 100 pages, we meet the Mary we have always known, in the custody of Elizabeth, constantly scheming and soon to lose her head.

The rating for this book benefits greatly by having been read soon after The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. In my opinion, this book is a far superior and much more entertaining and educational treatment of the period encompassed by the Tudor/Stuart dynasty. This is the third Margaret George book I've read and I have been well pleased with each effort. I highly recommend it and Ms. George's other works as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Waywell on 3 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
This was the second book that I had read by the author. Having first read Henry VIII I was expecting the book to be writen in much the same way and was disappointed at first that it wasn't written as an autobiograpthy which was why Henry VIII was such a success. Having said that once I had got over the initial shock I started to enjoy the way the author brings it all alive for you. You actually feel that you are there in the room with Mary and her court.

I found the book to be exciting and very educational. The author is one of the best researchers that I have ever come across and although she is American you would never guess it. Don't let the fact that she is an American author put you off as she writes novels about English historical figures in a far superior way to any English writer that I have come across.

This book is actually a masterpiece which sits well on the shelf next to Henry VIII.
The cover design is appealing and if you have the time to read a big book then this is one not to be missed. Prepare to be educated and entertained.
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I had a bit of a difficult time getting into this book initially, as the first 100 pages break that Creative Writing 101 rule of not spending too long in the beginning describing a character's past and childhood, before getting to the main plot. I do understand that Margaret George wanted to write a full biographical novel of Mary, Queen of Scots, from the cradle to the grave as it were. However the section covering Mary's childhood probably should have been pared down. Instead, the first 100 pages spend too much time on Mary's childhood and are largely descriptive, featuring tell more than show, and contain a few clunky information dumps. We're told that Mary is an extremely accomplished student, but we're not shown it, presumably because the author doesn't have enough pages to spend on building this up through demonstrative scenes. If that is the case, why waste space telling instead of showing, in a somewhat awkwardly written litany of accomplishments? On one occasion the reader is told in narrative exactly what the implications are of Mary Tudor (aka "Bloody Mary", cousin of Mary Queen of Scots) coming to the throne of England and her choice of husband. The problem with it is that it's a passage that exists solely to tell the uninformed reader what is happening, whilst most of the historical figures would have understood the implications without needing to spell it out.

The writing in these first 100 pages or so isn't terrible as such, but it feels detached and succumbs too much to tell over show and info dumping, so I can well understand why some readers find this book difficult to get into. It shouldn't take 100 pages to get going. Thankfully, things start picking up as Mary returns to Scotland.
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