Mary Queen of Scots passed her childhood in France and married the Dauphin to become Queen of France at the age of sixteen. Widowed less than two years later, she returned to Scotland as Queen after an absence of thirteen years. Her life then entered its best known phase: the early struggles with John Knox and the unruly Scottish nobility; the fatal marriage to Darnley and his mysterious death; her marriage to Bothwell, the chief suspect, that led directly to her long English captivity at the hands of Queen Elizabeth; the poignant and extraordinary story of her long imprisonment that ended with the labyrinthine Babington plot to free her, and her execution at the age of forty-four.
“A book that will leave few readers unmoved.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“She was sometimes reviled as a scheming whore, sometimes revered as a misunderstood martyr. But she was invariably regarded as fascinating. Antonia Fraser’s richly readable biography demonstrates that Mary’s great fascination continues unabated.”
“One of the most fascinating figures in history.”
— The Columbus Dispatch
“Compassionate, illuminating, rich in human interest.”
— The New York Times
“With grace, sensitivity and a sharp eye for detail, Lady Antonia Fraser has succeeded not only in recapturing the real Mary from the symbol but also in illuminating the chaotic age in which she lived.”
From the Back Cover
Author of Marie Antoinette
She was the quintessential queen: statuesque, regal, dazzlingly beautiful. Her royal birth gave her claim to the thrones of two nations; her marriage to the young French dauphin promised to place a third glorious crown on her noble head.
Instead, Mary Stuart became the victim of her own impulsive heart, scandalizing her world with a foolish passion that would lead to abduction, rape and even murder. Betrayed by those she most trusted, she would be lured into a deadly game of power, only to lose to her envious and unforgiving cousin, Elizabeth I.
Here is her story, a queen who lost a throne for love, a monarch pampered and adored even as she was led to her beheading, the unforgettable woman who became a legend for all time.
From the Inside Flap