queen scots mary

Mary, Queen of Scots (1969 book)

Mary, Queen of Scots is a 1969 biography of Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. Fraser's two aims in writing the biography, as she herself enumerated in the book's Author's Note section, were firstly to test the truth or falsehood of the many legends surrounding the subject, and secondly to set Mary, Queen of Scots in the context of the age in which she lived.

Fraser's portrait of Mary,Queen of Scots is largely sympathetic. Although Fraser stresses what she sees as Mary's key virtues, she believes that Scotland at the time required an extraordinarily strong ruler to pull the nobles into line.

The book pulls apart a number of myths and popular legends that have sprung up about Mary during her life and consequently. Fraser recounts in great detail the details surrounding the plot to murder Mary's second husband Darnley. At the Conference of York, the Regent Moray produced the Casket Letters, presented as love letters from Mary to her third husband, Bothwell, with whom she had allegedly plotted to kill Darnley. After rigorous study, Fraser concludes that they were forgeries, most likely an amalgamation of real letters Mary wrote and love letters written to Bothwell by one of his mistresses.

Antonia Fraser was awarded the 1969 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for this book.


Fraser, Antonia. Mary, Queen of Scots, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997

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