This sequel is very readable It is a fascinating insight into this extraordinary woman's mind primarily during her house arrest in England. And Elizabeth's attempt to save her life if Mary would only control her ambitions. But that was impossible.and Mary wrote her own death warrant. You are left wondering whether her son James had inherited more political savvy than Mary.
A very engaging account of this turbulent period of British history, written in a lively and easy to follow style of writing. This was a particularly pertinent read given the impending independence referendum, and made me realise there has long been a history of treachery, from all sides, in Scottish politics!
This second book covering the period 1567 to 1603 is a well written and scholarly work and completes the history of a murky and very confused period of Scottish History but at the same time a good read.
Against the background of Scotland's current independence referendum, Robert Stedall's deeply-researched intricately-drawn account of the pivotal struggle to provide a protestant heir to Elizabeth 1st and thereby sustain England's Reformation provides striking evidence of the divisive effects of the religion of the late 16th century. The rich cast of characters and sweeping, often violent drama of events initiated in the Scottish and English courts are handled deftly.
But although well written, this is no light read, much more a serious contribution to our understanding of the history of a period of profound change with far-reaching consequences for the British Isles. In all, Robert Stedall's book is a quarry of valuable information and insights for the student of history.
A scholarly book, well written and excellently researched.
Robert Stedall clearly and sympathetically describes the delicate path that Mary Queen of Scots trod in her later years, balancing the complexities of Scottish and English court life with her ambitions for herself and her son James. Ultimately she succeeded, but at a high personal cost.
One small criticism is that Robert gives too little space to the reasons why Mary decided to throw herself on Elizabeth's mercy in the first place. However, this subject is well discussed in his first book "The Challenge to the Crown", which I would also recommend.
This set of two volumes provides a wonderful introduction to a complex and difficult time in Scottish history that is accessible to the novice and entertaining to the expert. A popular history that has a wonderful narrative voice in addition to its research, these books are a good investment for anyone - historian or historical enthusiast.