Mary Queen of Scots – Antonia Fraser

Having been woefully miseducated, I’m trying to fill in the gaps. Antonia Fraser seems a pretty reliable read. And an excellent use of footnotes, might I add.

The disturbing thing about this book is Mary herself. She spent 19 years in England in captivity purely because she was inconvenient. Because of power-grabbing she fled Scotland and chose England, hoping (expecting) Elizabeth to do the decent thing and stick up for her. She didn’t. Neither did the kings of Spain or France. It’s a poor show. Her son James, although poisoned against her at an early age, neglected to effect her release. The sole reason she was imprisoned was because she had what other people wanted. The reason she died, was it was convenient. Elizabeth signed the warrant, and then spent ages claiming she didn’t mean it. Wowsers, that’s just one case of innocent blood spilt for selfish ends. It makes one’s skin crawl. Makes me wonder what other horrors are lurking near the surface in English history…

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