Mary Queen of the Scots: The Forgotten Reign
The Legendary Women of World History Book 3
by Laurel A. Rockefeller Genre: Historical Fiction
Queen Mary Stuart was one of the most beloved and controversial women in Scottish history. The granddaughter of King James IV and his wife Margaret Tudor, Queen Mary's status as heiress-apparent to Queen Elizabeth's throne in England paired with the violence of the Scottish Reformation set the stage for one of the most dramatic and poorly understood lives of the 16th century.
Mary Queen of the Scots tells Mary's true story, focusing primarily on her reign as queen of Scotland, celebrating her life more than her death and showing us all why she was truly a woman ahead of her time.
Features a detailed timeline, a list of Latin prayers with their English translations, and the lyrics to all four featured period songs performed in the book.
Holyrood palace filled with music. Dancing Bransle les Lavandieres Queen Mary laughed as she clapped her hands during the four steps to the left. During the dance’s following four steps to the right she put her hands into fists which she moved up and down as if rubbing a shirt against a washboard before turning in place in a circle over her left shoulder. Following the music’s repeat Queen Mary stepped two steps to the left and two steps to the right. A tall and handsome nobleman entered the hall, approaching the circle of dancing couples who now repeated the bransle set. As Mary Seton prepared to step into the circle as the queen’s dancing partner, the young man cut in, “May I?”
Mary Seton nodded and stepped out, allowing the man to take her place, shaking his finger at the queen as he stepped side to side. Following the music, the queen repeated the mimed scolding before stepping back into place to take the four steps to the left accompanied by clapping and the four steps to the right miming the wash board as the gentleman’s partner. Two more repeats of the entire dance followed before the musicians played the final held note signalling all dancers to bow or curtsy. Politely the dancers applauded. Queen Mary turned to her new dancing partner, “Do I know you?”
The man bowed deeply, “No Your Majesty, not exactly.”
“It is a bold thing to cut into a dance like that—particularly to dance with a queen.”
“I am known for my boldness—and my exceptional good looks,” laughed the man proudly.
“Who are you?”
“Henry Stewart, at Your Majesty’s service!” smiled Henry proudly.
“You are Lord Darnley?”
“You seem oddly familiar; did we meet before?”
Henry took the queen’s hand and kissed it, “Once, in Paris. My mother sent me to express our sympathy for the loss of your father-in-law. You invited me to your coronation as queen of France.”
“A lifetime ago it seems.”
“Did you love your husband? He was quite the sickly fellow—not particularly handsome I might add. He seemed …what is the right word here…undeserving of your beauty and grace.”
“And I suppose you feel yourself his better in these things?”
“Would you like me to show you? I am confident I can offer you proper evidence on this matter—in private of course.”
Queen Mary laughed uncomfortably at his boldness, “I suppose you have practice in this matter whose fruits you offer me now?”
“Only you can be the judge of that,” hinted Lord Darnley. As if on cue the musicians started the musical introduction to a galliard. Darnley put his arms around the queen as if for a lavolta section of the dance, “Dance with me!” Caught off guard Queen Mary found herself unable to speak, but nodded her consent. Boldly Henry took her hand, guiding her around the dance floor in the vigorous and very athletic dance filled with leaps, spins, kicks, and courtly flirting that took her breath away. When at last the dance finished, Darnley pulled her close to him, “Marry me!”
“Yes!” replied the queen, still breathless from the dance.
Gently Henry kissed her romantically. Queen Mary returned the kiss, her heart swept away.
Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller is author of over twenty-five books published and self-published since August, 2012 with editions spanning across ten languages and counting. A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history literacy worldwide.
With her lyrical writing style, Laurel's books are as beautiful to read as they are informative.
In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels, travelling to historic places, and watching classic motion pictures and classic television series. Favorites: Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Babylon 5.
Laurel proudly supports Health in Harmony, The Arbor Day Foundation, and other charities working to protect and re-plant forests globally.
Walking in Queen Mary’s Footsteps: Palaces and Castles
By Laurel A. Rockefeller
Welcome to “Summer in Scotland,” our month-long celebration of Scotland and in particular the Scotland known and loved by its most famous queen, Mary Stuart, better known simply as “Mary Queen of Scots.”
Across Queen Mary’s forty-four years she lived in France, reigned in Scotland, and died in England. Though not all of the places she guested at, lived at, and/or worked from still exist (notably Fotheringhay Castle where she was executed in 1587), these six palaces and castles are not only still standing, but they are open to the public for you to visit this summer.
Linlithgow Palace (West Lothian, Scotland)
Built as a retreat from court life at Edinburgh Castle by the Stewarts, the peace and quiet of Linlithgow makes it the perfect getaway for royals and modern visitors alike. Overlooking Loch Linlithgow, there is scenic beauty and waterfowl aplenty to melt away whatever stress comes your way. No wonder it was the Stewarts preferred place to give birth and is Queen Mary Stuart’s birth place.
Château Blois (Loire Valley, France)
Located in the Loire Valley about halfway between Orléans and Tours, Chateau Blois was 15th and 16th century France’s preferred royal residence. Here Queen Mary and Prince François spent countless weeks in the year at court. Later, in 1617, it became home to Marie de Medici’s court in exile. Along with her came her very loyal chief advisor, Armand-Jean du Plessis, better known as Cardinal Richelieu (see “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu”).
Château de Chambord (Loire Valley, France)
Favoured by Queen Mary’s father-in-law Henri II and designed in part by Leonardo da Vinci, Chambord is an architectural masterpiece that takes you into the mind of its creator. Features a unique double-helix staircase designed by da Vinci so that no one going up can meet anyone going down on it.
Edinburgh Castle (Edinburgh, Scotland)
At the heart of Queen Mary’s reign stands Edinburgh Castle which, appropriately, dominates the Edinburgh skyline. Situated on a cliff high above the rest of the city, it is easy to see why King David I (son of Margaret of Wessex and brother to Empress Matilda of England) chose the site for his castle. Queen Mary and her parliament ruled from here and on 19 June 1566 she gave birth to King James VI in the same bedroom you can visit today. Queen Mary herself made several improvements to the castle which intially she found dark and cold compared to the airy grandeur of the French court, adding wall-coverings and art to warm both body and soul, especially in winter.
Open year-round except on 25th and 26th December. Tickets start at £17.50 if you purchase your tickets online or £19.50 if you purchase at the gate.
Stirling Castle (Stirling, Scotland)
Built in 1107, Stirling Castle is one of the historically most significant landmarks in Scotland’s long pursuit of freedom and independence from English conquest. William Wallace and Andrew Moray famously fought the Battle of Stirling Bridge near here in 1297 to retake the castle from England. Robert the Bruce’s 1304 victory at Bannockburn likewise returned it to Scotland. In 1503, King James IV built its Great Hall. Queen Mary held her baptism service for her son James (VI) here in 1566. When it was James VI’s turn to baptise his son Henry in 1594, he also held the baptism and its celebrations at Stirling Castle.
Open year-round except on 25th and 26th December. Tickets start at £15 if you purchase online or £16 at the gate.
Lochleven Castle (Kinross, Scotland)
Built in the 14th Century, Queen Mary guested at Lochleven before its tower turned into her prison in 1567. This is where she miscarried or aborted James Hepburn’s baby, and where she abdicated her throne in favour of her son James.
Wherever your summer takes you, I hope you will spend part of it with Queen Mary Stuart and will make “Mary Queen of the Scots: the Forgotten Reign” your first and best introduction to Scotland’s most tragic and famous queen. Available at your favourite bookstore world-wide in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. See http//www.laurelarockefeller.com for complete links to all editions.
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