Mary Queen of Scots
Overview - One of the most controversial characters of Elizabethan era was Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth's second cousin once removed. Mary was the granddaughter of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII's sister, which made Mary a claimant to the English Crown as well. Read more...
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More About Mary Queen of Scots by John Abbott
One of the most controversial characters of Elizabethan era was Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth's second cousin once removed. Mary was the granddaughter of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII's sister, which made Mary a claimant to the English Crown as well. Moreover, her Catholicism made Mary the true and rightful Queen of England in the eyes of many Catholics and The Vatican. Mary's first marriage to the Dauphin of France had made her the queen consort of France, but his early death and their lack of issue had made it untenable for Mary Stuart to remain in France. Upon returning to Scotland, she married her cousin and gave birth to James VI. Mary Stuart, exhorted by her Catholic supporters, had claimed Elizabeth's crown. Eventually she was imprisoned for nearly two decades and subsequently executed for plotting against the Queen, actions that brought about scorn for centuries. As the preface to Abbott's biography puts it: "Of the unfortunates of history, few touch our sympathies so deeply as Mary Queen of Scots, though perhaps in so doing we allow her beauty, her grace and her rare accomplishments to influence us too strongly, for history cannot acquit her of grave error. Half French by birth and wholly French by education, she dazzled the brilliant court of which she became queen, when suddenly her gorgeous diadem vanished, and she was torn from her beloved France to be thrust upon stern and rugged Scotland. A foreigner to the land of her birth, she commenced a series of missteps, followed exultantly by her watchful rival on the English throne; and, at last, driven from her throne by her outraged subjects, she cast herself blindly upon Elizabeth's generosity. That generosity was Fotheringay."