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Book Title: Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles|
The author of the book: Margaret George
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Reader ratings: 3.8
Edition: St. Martin's Press
Date of issue: 1992
ISBN 13: 9780312082628
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 891 KB
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She became Queen of Scots when she was only six days old. Life among the warring factions in Scotland was dangerous for the infant Queen, however, and at age five Mary was sent to France to be raised alongside her betrothed, the Dauphin Francois. Surrounded by all the sensual comforts of the French court, Mary's youth was peaceful, charmed, and when she became Queen of France at the age of sixteen, she seemed to have all she could wish for. But by her eighteenth birthday, Mary was a widow who had lost one throne and had been named by the Pope for another. And her extraordinary adventure had only begun. Defying her powerful cousin Elizabeth I, Mary set sail in 1561 to take her place as the Catholic Queen of a newly Protestant Scotland. A virtual stranger in her volatile native land, Mary would be hailed as a saint, denounced as a whore, and ultimately accused of murdering her second husband, Lord Darnley, in order to marry her lover, the Earl of Bothwell. She was but twenty-five years old when she fled Scotland for the imagined sanctuary of Elizabeth's England, where she would be embroiled in intrigue until she was beheaded "like a criminal" in 1587. In her stunning first novel, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Margaret George established herself as one of the finest historical novelists of our time. Now she brings us a new, mesmerizing blend of history and storytelling as she turns the astonishing facts of the life of Mary Queen of Scots into magnificent fiction that sweeps us from the glittering French court where Mary spent her youth, to the bloodstained Scotland where she reigned as Queen, to the cold English castles where she ended her days. Never before have we been offered such arich and moving portrayal of the Scots Queen, whose beauty inspired poetry, whose spirit brought forth both devotion and hatred, and whose birthright generated glorious dreams, hideous treachery, and murdered men at her feet.
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Read information about the authorMargaret George is a rolling stone who has lived in many places, beginning her traveling at the age of four when her father joined the U.S. diplomatic service and was posted to a consulate in Taiwan. The family traveled on a freighter named after Ulysses' son Telemachus that took thirty days to reach Taiwan, where they spent two years. Following that they lived in Tel Aviv (right after the 1948 war, when it was relatively quiet), Bonn and Berlin (during the spy-and-Cold-War days) before returning--at the height of Elvis-mania--to Washington DC, where Margaret went to high school. Margaret's first piece of published writing, at the age of thirteen, was a letter to TIME Magazine defending Elvis against his detractors. (Margaret has since been to Graceland.)
But it was earlier in Israel that Margaret, an avid reader, began writing novels to amuse herself when she ran out of books to read. Interestingly, the subject of these was not what lay around her in the Middle East, but the American west, which she had never set foot in. (Now that she lives in the American Midwest she writes about the Middle East!) Clearly writing in her case followed Emily Dickinson's observation "There is no frigate like a book" and she used it to go to faraway places. Now she has added another dimension to that travel by specializing in visiting times remote from herself.
Neither of these horse sagas got published, but the ten-year-old author received an encouraging note from an editor at Grosset & Dunlap, telling her she had a budding talent but should work on her spelling.
It was also in Israel that Margaret started keeping land tortoises as pets, an interest which she still follows today. She had a great affinity for animals and nature and that led her to a double major at Tufts University in English literature and biology. Following that she received an MA in ecology from Stanford University--one of the earliest departments to offer such a concentration. Today she is active in environmental and animal conservation groups.
Combining her interests led her to a position as a science writer at the National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, Maryland for four years.
Her marriage at the end of that time meant moving, first to St. Louis, then to Uppsala, Sweden, and then to Madison, Wisconsin, where she and her husband Paul have lived for more than twenty years now. They have one grown daughter who lives in California and is in graduate school.
Through all this Margaret continued to write, albeit slowly and always on only one project at a time. She wrote what she refers to as her 'Ayn Rand/adventure novel' in college and her 'Sex and the City' novel in Washington DC. It was in St. Louis that she suddenly got the idea of writing a 'psycho-biography' of Henry VIII. She had never seen such a thing done but became convinced the king was a victim of bad PR and she should rescue his good name. Her background in science meant that only after thoroughly researching the literature and scholarship on Henry VIII would she embark on the novel itself. She sought the guidance of a Tudor historian at Washington University for a reading list, and proceeded from there.
It was actually fourteen years between her initial idea and the publication of The Autobiography of Henry VIII. The book made an impression for several reasons: first, because no one had ever written a novel sympathetic to the king before; second, because it covered his entire life from before birth until after his death, making it almost a thousand pages long, and third, because it was so fact-filled.
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