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The Book Nook: "Mary Queen of Scots" (Antonia Fraser)


As a Stewart, I have always been fascinated by historical figures sharing the same last name:  Jimmy Stewart, Rod Stewart... and of Mary Stuart- Queen of Scots...

Antonia Fraser's book covers Mary Stuart's life from birth, her time married to the Dauphin of France, her return to take the throne of Scotland, the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, flight into exile, and death at the order of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.  It does so in such a smooth, seamless rhythm that draws you along until you suddenly find yourself with no more book to read.

It weaves a vibrant tapestry of Mary Stuart's life, and the world around her- a tapestry of events and personalities that wraps around you like a warm blanket on a cold night.  There are so many different threads of reality woven together: palace intrigue, action, romance, horror, tragedy, and drama.  They're all embroidered together in a marvelous image of what life was like back then.

Most non-fiction books can be rather dry, tedious, and emotionally distant from the subjects they're discussing in an attempt to be objective.  "Mary Queen of Scots" manages to present the evidence, speculations, and rumours in an objective- but very informal and emotionally engaging way.  I wanted to know more- to experience more about Mary Stuart's life and times while reading this book- and long after reading it.

If you're a history buff- especially as it relates to historical figures, I would certainly recommend buying and reading "Mary Queen of Scots" by Antonia Fraser.  I've re-read this book about four times since I've bought it.  A very regal "Good".

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