Mary, Queen of Scots – A Study in Failure by Jenny Wormald Book Review

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, has long been portrayed as one of history’s romantically tragic figures. Devious, naive, beautiful and sexually voracious, often highly principled, she secured the Scottish throne and bolstered the position of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Her plotting, including probable involvement in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, led to her flight from Scotland and imprisonment by her equally ambitious cousin and fellow queen, Elizabeth of England. Yet when Elizabeth ordered Mary’s execution in 1587 it was an act of exasperated frustration rather than political wrath. Unlike biographies of Mary predating this work, this masterly study set out to show Mary as she really was – not a romantic heroine, but the ruler of a European kingdom with far greater economic and political importance than its size or location would indicate. Wormald also showed that Mary’s downfall was not simply because of the ‘crisis years’ of 1565-7, but because of her way of dealing, or failing to deal, with the problems facing her as a renaissance monarch. She was tragic because she was born to supreme power but was wholly incapable of coping with its responsibilities.Her extraordinary story has become one of the most colourful and emotionally searing tales of western history, and it is here fully reconsidered by a leading specialist of the period. Jenny Wormald’s beautifully written biography will appeal to students and general readers alike.

We all know the story of Mary, Queen of Scots and while many biographies dive into Mary’s life, A Study in Failure examines why Mary’s reign went so very wrong. She is not the romantic heroine that many will know from Reign but the Queen of two Kingdoms and an heir to a third Kingdom, yet she was incapable of dealing with the responsibilities and the differences between her two countries. It’s quite an interesting read and very different from other biographies.

Mary, Queen of Scots – A Study in Failure by Jenny Wormald is available now in both the UK and US.

Related links

About Moniek 1262 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Subscribe to our newsletter and join 2,870 other subscribers!

%d bloggers like this: