Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George (St. Martin’s Press, 1992, 870pp.)
Ever heard of Mary, Queen of Scots? If you have, you probably know her for her untimely execution in 1587 for plotting against Elizabeth I. But how did she get there? What was she like in private life? How did she influence history? George paints a rich and extensive portrait of the life of the infamous Scottish queen. Her Mary is a unique creature, spirited, deeply religious, and merciful to a fault. Although George’s main players are well developed, her plentiful, two-dimensional supporting cast can make it a chore to remember who is who, and what role they play in the story. However, this flaw is a minor one, and does not detract from the book’s overall quality. Readers unfamiliar with British history should have little to no trouble grasping the plot this biographical novel that makes history come alive.
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