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De Maria Scotorum Regina, totaque eius contra Regem coniuratione, fÏdo cum Bothuelio adulterio, nefaria in maritum crudelitate & rabie, horrendo insuper & deterrimo eiusdem parricidio: plena, & tragica planè historia.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)] Buchanan, George (1506-1582)

Published by John Day, no date but, N.p. but London:, 1571
From Liber Antiquus Early Books & Manuscripts (Chevy Chase, MD, U.S.A.)

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Octavo: (2), 144, (4) pp. Collation: A-Q4 The First Printing of Two Attacks on Mary, Queen of Scots& Three of the ?Casket Letters?,The First Edition, Printed by John Day FIRST EDITION of this famous denunciation of Mary, Queen of Scots, by the eminent scholar who had at one time been her tutor and ardent admirer. Buchanan's loyalty ended with the murder of Mary's cousin and husband Lord Darnley, and her hasty marriage to the Earl of Bothwell; he testified at her trial in London, where the notorious "casket letters" were produced as implicating Mary in Darnley's murder. This text was written in 1568, and circulated for a time in manuscript; the place and date of the printed version were long disputed, but the book is now accepted as having been produced by John Day in 1571. The section "Actio contra Mariam Scotorum Reginam," which occupies pp. 31-100, is attributed to Thomas Wilson, Marian exile, militant Protestant, and (from 1578) privy councilor and secretary of state. This edition includes the first printing of three of the ?casket letters.??There was nothing incidental in the semi-publicity given to the misdoings of Mary in the third and by far most celebrated of the unauthorized pamphlets published between 1569 and 1572. This was the work by George Buchanan commonly known as ?A Detection of the Doings of Mary Queen of Scots.? Contrary to the impression given by most of Mary?s subsequent biographers, this work, admittedly the fountainhead of all later attacks on the Scottish Queen?s character and conduct, was completely a product, in its published form, of English activities to discredit Mary without violating Elizabeth?s official attitude of benevolent neutrality toward her reluctant guest.?Buchanan apparently wrote the ?Detection? originally in Latin as a covering letter to accompany the notorious ?Casket Letters? that were presented in evidence against Mary at the conferences at York and Westminster. In this original form, the ?Detection? simply chronicled, from the Protestant point of view, the events in Scotland leading up to the murder of Darnley and the marriage of Mary to Bothwell. It was designed to leave little doubt in the reader?s mind that Mary was privy to all these events, including an earlier abortive effort to do away with Darnley by poison. The document was not published at the time, however, and having served the purpose of discrediting Mary at the conferences, the manuscript remained in London, apparently unused, for three years.?Then in 1571, after the arrest of Norfolk for his part in the plot to release, marry, and enthrone the Queen of Scots, some of Elizabeth?s councilors suddenly began to take a new and active interest on the document. Some time before November 1 of that year the original Latin version of the ?Detection? was printed in London by John Day without any indication of place or date of origin. Appended to it was a Latin essay entitled ?Actio contra Mariam?, that is, an ?Action? in the legal sense of an indictment, and three of the more incriminating ?Casket Letters? The ?Action?, which added much rhetorical abuse but no new evidence to the case against Mary, was allowed to pass as Buchanan?s work, but it had actually been written, with Cecil?s knowledge, by Thomas Wilson, the scholar-diplomat who subsequently became secretary of state in Elizabeth?s Privy Council.?By making it appear that Buchanan?s attack emanated from Scotland, and that the celebrated Scottish humanist was himself responsible for the virulent ?Action? as well as the ?Detection,? the English were able to blast Mary?s character without violating their official attitude of protection and defense. They could always blame Mary?s Scottish subjects ?and they usually did. No one seems to have been completely fooled by the device, but no one seems to have been able to do much to stop it?.?That the Norfolk marriage was proposal was the immediate provocation for this elaborate scheme to discredit Mary in the eyes of the world wa. Bookseller Inventory # 2689D

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Bibliographic Details

Title: De Maria Scotorum Regina, totaque eius ...

Publisher: John Day, no date but, N.p. but London:

Publication Date: 1571

Binding: Hardcover


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