Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tudors Versus Stewarts


Author: Linda Porter

Rating: 5 Stars

I'm not sure what there is to say besides, "Mary never stood a chance."

In all seriousness though, this was a wonderfully written, well-researched book about the entwining legacies of the Stewarts and Tudors. I've read quite a bit about Mary, Queen of Scots, but have always wondered about much of Scotland's monarchy before her - especially how Margaret and Henry could co-exist after her husband was killed in battle. Many gaps in my knowledge were filled in during the course of this reading, as well as providing a much needed introduction to the rulers of Scotland before Mary.

There was so much information I didn't know about the rulers of Scotland, and much about the Tudors (as in Henry relating to his sisters especially) to keep me interested. That's always a concern I have when beginning a new history book of this time period and subject. But no fear, it is detailed but not boring, and certainly not just a repeating of info elsewhere.

I appreciated all the backstory leading up to Mary's eventual demise at the (figurative) hand of her spoiled best of a cousin, Elizabeth (she did sign the death warrant after all, despite her ridiculous protestations that she didn't want it carried out. To that I say, "Rubbish"). I also like that the years of Mary's captivity in England were not rehashed, not were the multiple plots to free her/remove Elizabeth from the throne. This book truly focused on the century's worth of events that brought Mary to her tragic end not as a queen, but as a wrongfully-held prisoner. Fantastic read, highly recommended.

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