Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating analysis of our shared English/Scottish history
Crown of Thistles tells a fascinating story of the complex, shared history of Scotland and England across a key period of time, including the years in which Henry the Seventh was seeking to establish the authority of his nascent regime and to establish a dynasty by forging advantageous marital alliances, such as that of his eldest boy, Arthur, with Katherine of...
Published 15 months ago by EleanorB

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The daughter of debate.
I have read many books about the Tudors and was interested in reading about the lesser known Stewart's in Mary's family tree and I did enjoy what the author had to say about James iii, iv and v, but there wasn't enough of it. I had to wade through hundreds of pages on Henry vii, I know he was her great grandfather, but there was more about the battle of Bosworth than I...
Published 13 months ago by KAW


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating analysis of our shared English/Scottish history, 20 Aug 2013
By 
EleanorB - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots (Hardcover)
Crown of Thistles tells a fascinating story of the complex, shared history of Scotland and England across a key period of time, including the years in which Henry the Seventh was seeking to establish the authority of his nascent regime and to establish a dynasty by forging advantageous marital alliances, such as that of his eldest boy, Arthur, with Katherine of Aragon.

Two English Kings, Henry and his son Henry the Eighth were the major royal players, and their near contemporaries in Scotland were the Stewart Kings, James IV and V. Scotland at this time, also had its established Auld Alliance with France and the English always had a difficult relationship with that country, despite flowery political language and big ticket events such as the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
This complex back story produced strong family ties between the Tudor and Stewart families - Henry the Seventh's eldest daughter, Margaret, was married at age 13 to James the IV and subsequent Stewart marriages with French princesses gave the little daughter of James V of Scotland a shared English/Scottish/French ancestry. This little heiress became Queen of Scotland at the age of 6 days, and although her own story is well known, the background to it all is perhaps less familiar. No longer, however, as this pacy book, which reads at times like a novel, puts everything into sharp focus and greatly helps our understanding of the turbulent events that formed the backdrop to Mary Stewart's ultimately tragic life. It also demonstrates that the potential circumstances for a united kingdom were present many, many years before the Union of the Crowns actually happened. It is also full of detailed descriptions of the Scottish court during the late 15th and early 16th centuries, when it was clearly a vibrant and cultured place and not some desolate backwater.

The author's use of language is excellent, the illustrations are excellent, and this is as good an introduction to the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots as you will ever read.

Highly recommended reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book, well written and easy to read., 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I enjoy reading about history. This book covers the areas that I didn't learn about in school. Or if we did, I wasn't paying attention. I didn't know for instance that Henry VIII had a sister Margaret who was married to the King of Scotland.
I would definitely recommend this book
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish History., 2 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although my Father was born in Scotland I didn't know much about Scottish History. I enjoyed this book going back several generations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 16 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
for anyone interested in the bond between the English and Scottish thrones this is an essential. Well written with detail but does not bog you down with too much detail. Wonderful book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best history, 19 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots (Hardcover)
Very easily read and gave differing opinions in context. It was quite gripping which surprised me, if school books had been so well who knows!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 16 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very well researched and written enjoyed it very much..Will be interested in anything else she writes. Thought it covered Scottish history well
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The personal and political inheritances of Mary Queen of Scots, 12 Jan 2014
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The negative reviews here seem to be because this isn't just a history of Mary Queen of Scots: they're right, it's not, in that Mary is only born about halfway through this book. What it is, though, is an excellent history of Mary's inheritances, both personal and political, which shaped both her reign and her life.

Porter goes back to Katherine de Valois who, after the death of her first husband, Henry V, married Owen Tudor, a very unlikely second husband for a French queen. From here she traces the intertwined destinies of the Tudors and Stuarts whose lines merged when Margaret Tudor, sister to Henry VIII, married James IV, grandfather to Mary Queen of Scots.

So much has been written about the Tudors, but the lives of the difficult James III, the charismatic James IV, and the unlucky James V are far less well known, and Porter does an excellent job of bringing them to life. A minor criticism is that, given the English bias in current history writing, Porter feels it necessary to spend so much time on the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII.

So this does cover Mary's life, and does it in a fluent and lively style, but places her within the contexts of her family and national histories. For anyone wanting a more detailed focus on Mary Stuart, there's Antonia Fraser's established biography (Mary Queen Of Scots) and the newer, superlative book by John Guy (My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Book on The Stewart -Tudor Era up to Mary's Reign, 20 Sep 2013
By 
Steven Leppard (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots (Hardcover)
A most interesting book in which I feel Linda Porter is to be congratulated in how she described the complex but very close relations between Scotland and England in the 16th Century. What I found very pleasing on the way Linda Porter described and gave an excellent insight into the lesser known Stewarts, that many particularly English authors ignore or gave a very brief comment on and those historians who largely describe Scotland as a backward and unimportant country, with the odd references, so consumed with the Tudors. Well Done Ms Porter in showing that The Stewart monarch's despite being very unlucky and many set backs ultimately were the family that did unite the Crowns and bring Britain into existence, they actually reigned in Scotland from 1371 to 1603, then ruling both Scotland and England for 104 years more, unlike the Tudors who were a flash in the pan, ruling for a mere 118 year. Ms Porter has beautifully described the importance and influence of King James III , IV and V and just how important Scotland was to Europe and the rulers of Spain , France, England , something most English authors fail to acknowledge. Where I feel the book was let down is on Mary herself, I felt it was quite hurried and rushed, which for me was disappointing. I would have liked more in-depth study on Mary, who without doubt is the most famous Scottish Monarch, who was greatly let down by those who should have put their Queen and Countries interests first. Overall a very good interesting book, just lt down by not enough on Mary, hence my 4 star rating, but a well worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I'm from Scotland and didn't know most of it so was good to read and learn abit more, 12 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really enjoyable book. I thought it was just going to be about Mary Queen of Scots but it was a history of her family as well. Really fascinating to find out more of Scottish history, I'm from Scotland and didn't know most of it so was good to read and learn abit more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The daughter of debate., 17 Oct 2013
This review is from: Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots (Hardcover)
I have read many books about the Tudors and was interested in reading about the lesser known Stewart's in Mary's family tree and I did enjoy what the author had to say about James iii, iv and v, but there wasn't enough of it. I had to wade through hundreds of pages on Henry vii, I know he was her great grandfather, but there was more about the battle of Bosworth than I have read in biographies of Henry himself and I thought unnecessary detail on Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel. Conversely, Mary's exile and death is confined to the Epilogue. Surely her inheritance was a factor in how she handled her imprisonment. The issue of her rape or not by Bothwell is a bit of a red herring. Porter tells us that romantic novelists make much of a great love between Mary and Bothwell, but she herself inflates the importance of contemporary sources that shouted rape. The fact is the sources all had their own agenda, it is almost impossible to untangle the web of arguments around Mary, she is still the "daughter of debate".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots
Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots by Linda Porter (Hardcover - 15 Aug 2013)
£16.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews