Feb 3, 2009

The Captive Queen of Scots

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.. Found this photo of 'her' at the Reader's Advisor. One can never tell what is factual but this has got to be the most flattering portrait I have seen of her. The books go on and on about how beautiful she was, and perhaps it was also due to her supposed charismatic nature, so this one does her justice more so than others.

I am about halfway through with Jean Plaidy's "The Captive Queen of Scots".. again, I am enjoying it very much as expected. Jean Plaidy must have been a wonderful woman to know; she has written so many books in the Historical Fiction genre, I wonder if she ever set a book down (or wasn't writing one). Jean Plaidy is a pseudonym for Eleanor Hibbert; her other well-known pseudonym is Victoria Holt which dealt more on the romance side. Born in 1906, Eleanor wrote around 200 novels! I own about 52 of those. My project is to own all of the Historical Series. It will not be easy, as many of these are now only found in the UK and of course these are older titles. As I mentioned in my last post on Fotheringay, that book was slowly disintegrating in my hands. We are fortunate that some are being reprinted in both the UK and USA as the English History Buzz has hit the USA since "The Other Boleyn Girl" movie and "The Tudors" television series.
I have read this author's "My Enemy, The Queen" written under Victoria Holt, and enjoyed it very much as well. It is told in first person by Lettice Knollys, Elizabeth's cousin once-removed. I bring this up because I am now at the part in "The Captive Queen of Scots" where Mary is brought to England's Carlisle and Bolton Castle and is cared for by Sir Francis Knollys (May 1568). Francis is Lettice's father. And Lettice was a wonderful character to read about in "My Enemy the Queen" which dealt with her and Elizabeth's relationship and their mutual love for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leceister. Through Lettice, we enjoy a unique view on Elizabeth I. (Lettice is also in The Virgin's Lover by Phillipa Gregory.) Lettice's fate is entwined with Elizabeth as much as Mary's was.. the Queen of England rules all.
Back to the book "The Captive Queen".. Mary will leave the care of Francis Knollys and go to Tutbury, despite horrible weather. It is at Tutbury that we meet the Earl of Shrewsbury. And guess who he is? He is married to Bess of Hardwick, who I wrote of in earlier posts. Such a fine web I'm weaving and loving every minute of it!!