Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots-Carolly Erickson

The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots
Carolly Erickson
St. Martin’s, Sep 8 2009, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312379735

At fifteen years old Mary Stuart writes in her diary about her marriage to the French Dauphin, a boy half her size, but heir to throne. However, though he becomes King, Francis II never was healthy enough to sire a child let alone the next ruler. Thus Mary’s position at court is hazardous as her mother-in-law Catherine de Medici through her seer Notredame rules. After her husband dies, Mary returns to Scotland to rule as the queen with the death of her father. She marries Henry, but he rapes her. With a lover Bothwell Mary plots to kill her spouse, but regardless of what she does her Scottish subjects and even her family loath her as a killing opportunist. This allows her rival English Queen Elizabeth to lock her away for years with few caring; not even her son, about the incarceration and the ultimate execution.

This is an interesting biographical fiction novel that will please fans who cannot get enough of the sixteenth century queen rivalry. Although Elizabeth wins the real war, Mary wins the Erickson character comparison as she seems full dimensional while her adversary appears to have one characteristic that of a psychotic meltdown; obviously this is told from Mary’s viewpoint where she is a towering heroine and others are shrimps. Well written, THE MEMORIES OF MARY QUEEN OF THE SCOTS is an enjoyable historical fiction of an interesting tragic (though she manages to make her trials worse) figure.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: