!!> Reading ➳ Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley ➬ Author Alison Weir – Lucywhitedrycleaners.co.uk

Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley I ve been re reading this over the last month.Weir does a good analysis of the whole murder of Darnley, and while she believes Mary to be innocent, she doesn t show the Scots Queen as truly a white sheep The last 100 hunderd pages, however, are a little slow. Alison Weir surpassed herself penning this tome, the first in my opinion to rival Antonia Fraser s 1969 Mary Queen of Scots Via Mary Stuart runs the continuous line of succession, from Plantagenets Tudors, down to England s current royals.Mary has always polarised debate, first when alive and then, through the centuries, from the grave Regardless which account we accept, she cannot be seen as entirely blameless for her unfortunate life It s also beyond question that too much blinkered blame has gone her way, backwards in time.Her murdered second husband Henry, Lord Darnley, was a hideous character who arguably deserved his comeuppance If Mary was privy to his murder plot we can hardly blame her It s an equally short sighted assumption that anyone put in Mary s position would not have conspired towards her liberty when so unjustly imprisoned for so long by Queen Elizabeth I She was viciously provoked, set up and entrapped into her treason against Elizabeth Mary Stuart, great niece of England s King Henry VIII, was 6 days old when her father, King James V of Scotland, died and she acceded to his throne Uniting France and Scotland against conflict with Henry VIII s England, France s King Henry II negotiated little Mary s marriage to his three year old son, the Dauphin Fra BONUS This Edition Contains An Excerpt From Alison Weir S Mary Boleyn.Handsome, Accomplished, And Charming, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, Staked His Claim To The English Throne By Marrying Mary Stuart, Who Herself Claimed To Be The Queen Of England It Was Not Long Before Mary Discovered That Her New Husband Was Interested Only In Securing Sovereign Power For Himself Then, On February 10, 1567, An Explosion At His Lodgings Left Darnley Dead The Intrigue Thickened After It Was Discovered That He Had Apparently Been Suffocated Before The Blast After An Exhaustive Reevaluation Of The Source Material, Alison Weir Has Come Up With A Solution To This Enduring Mystery Employing Her Gift For Vivid Characterization And Gripping Storytelling, Weir Has Written One Of Her Most Engaging Excursions Yet Into Britain S Bloodstained, Power Obsessed Past. Alison Weir thoroughly presents and critiques what is known about this complex and murky affair Most of the book is readable, some of it is a page turner, and on some technical parts who was at a meeting legal precedents translation issues it can be a slog Written in 2003, I believe it remains the definitive work on Lord Darnley s murder.Weir covers the main elements of the story with clarity than I have seen anywhere, specifically How Mary came to marry Darnley inclusive of Elizabeth s mixed signals and the possibility of Leicester as a husband the Rizzio murder and after it Mary s attempt to portray a good family up to the birth of James witnesses on the night of the Kirk o Field explosion the cover ups and the power grabs that followed the murder how Bothwell took and used Mary and the civil war that followed The trial in England and Elizabeth s evolving motives A thorough dissection of the Casket Letters particularly how some dates can t be possible and how the words are not Mary s manner of writing.Rather than write a review, I ll make some observations Mary had to living in a constant state of PTSD She lost her father in her first week on earth and was shipped I have encountered yet another historical work that bears accurately the maxim that truth is indeed stranger than fiction I m sure that the master of Scottish historical fiction, Sir Walter Scott would struggle to concoct a dastardly series of plots that Alison Weir sets to untangle in her 2003 publication, Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley In fact it is a piece of Scott s verse which springs to mind, that sums up this book precisely Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive After a span of four hundred and fifty years, this epic conspiracy theory can be laid to rest as a conspiracy fact I finished this read on November the fifth, a day celebrated in England after Guy Fawkes s Gunpowder Plot But here is Scotland s original, perhaps even the inspiration for Catesby s treason With Peter Falk like tenacity, Weir has hounded down the truth, exposed the guilty parties and to quote the books review from the Observer, this is a monumental piece of historical detective work Of course, history shows that as a captive Queen, frustrated and foolish, Mary lost her head at Fotheringay after dabbling in the Ridolfi, Throckmorton and Babington plots However before the years of inc This book is partly a biography of Mary Queen of Scots, and partly an indepth examination of the source material surrounding the explosive murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley, with some conclusions over who was involved.I have been slowly ploughing through this over long book Although the title focusses on the murder of Lord Darnley, the early chapters are of a biography as they go in great depth through Mary s early life and the actual murder comes quite late on in the book Then there is a rather elaborate and lengthy examination of the source material surrounding the events, with the same conclusion Mary is innocent being made over and over again.The book is complicated further by the reams of reams of different names of Lords etc, who all seem to have names beginning either with M or B Mar, Maitland, Moray, Morton, Bothwell, Buchanan etc Although this is obviously not Weir s fault, and some attempt has been made to rectify this through an introductory section on each of the key figures, this doesn t really help when you are reading through the mire, as you have to keep flicking backwards and forwards to work out which person is now being considered.However, the book wasn t all bad As someone who has studied this period of history before, it was refreshing to realise, for example, that Elizabeth I wasn t always hostile towards Mary, indeed she seems to have been positively encour Normally, I love Alison Weir s books The reader can always count on extensive research and astute reasoning, but this one was a slog We re talking about one of the most perplexing historical figures of all time in Mary, Queen of Scots and yet, it just dragged on And on and on.She was the bosom serpent The 16th Century Princess Diana of her day Emotional, needy, irrational, and limelight loving, she just couldn t handle the heat Her first husband was the King of France and her second was found dead after his abode blew apart in the middle of the night though he himself was not blown apart Who actually killed Lord Darnley History always seemed to be written by the powerful Tudors, so Mary probably received too much blame, but she didn t appear to be the brightest stalk in the field.Granted, there is excitement i Like a couple of other readers, I could not finish this book I retreated at the half way mark It is without doubt a well researched book, but I had a lot of trouble keeping up with the Scottish nobles, getting confused about the Huntley s, Hamilton s, Maitland s, Melville s, Moray s, and then they were all related by marriage a Had I known the degree of excruciating research that must have stood at the base of this book and the arduous account it produced, I don t think I would have purchased this book.But chance guides ones life, including that delicious part of it our books and our reading I used to live in a place where bookstores rarely offered the books one sought instead they presented surprises Visiting these shops was twice as fun I always came out with treasured and unexpected purchases This was one of them.It has sat however, for several years in my bookshelves, but as I am in dire need of book space I am pulling out and giving priority to the bulkier ones Once read, I will give them away So, I finally took this big tome out.I must confess that I have been about to abandon the read than once, for I found the extremely detailed account in excess to what I wanted to learn Neurotic that I am, however, I persevered, and am glad because I could then come to admire Alison Weir s extraordinary feat.First, there is the extraordinary research she has conducted on what must be one of the most intractable episodes in Western renaissance history, the assassination of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary Stuart Weir has done so in great order, presenting us the This book is essentially an exploration and whodunnit of the murder of Mary, Queen of Scot s second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, rather than a biography of Mary herself.Mary was certainly an interesting and tragic figure.The book itself is essentially a very interesting expose, and Weir certainly has researched her work and presented her conclusions as to the evidence painstakingly well.The first three chapters of this work are concerned with Mary s early life, her growing up in the French court where she was sent to be educated.Weir touches on the moral laxity of the French court, which she actually go s as far as to refer to as a moral cesspit in which Mary was exposed from an early age to it s promiscuity and corruption.Interestingly there are two paintings that show the teen aged Mary, later to be Queen of France, in the nude.In 1558 the 16 year old Mary was married to the Dauphin who succeeded his father as Francis II the following year.When Francis died in 1560, his mother, the vindictive Catherine de Medici, made it clear that Mary was no longer welcome at the French court, so she returned to her native Scotland, where John Knox was playing a dominant role The Reformation was in full swing but Mary made no attempt to interfere with the new religion, merely insisting that she was to be free to worship as a Catholic.At this stage she had the peoples support.Renowned for h

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