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  • Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley
  • Written by Alison Weir
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780812971514
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  • Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley
  • Written by Alison Weir
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307431479
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Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley

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Written by Alison WeirAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Alison Weir

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On Sale: December 18, 2007
Pages: 704 | ISBN: 978-0-307-43147-9
Published by : Random House Random House Group
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE PRAISE
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis

Synopsis

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.

Handsome, accomplished, and charming, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, staked his claim to the English throne by marrying Mary Stuart, who herself claimed to be the Queen of England. It was not long before Mary discovered that her new husband was interested only in securing sovereign power for himself. Then, on February 10, 1567, an explosion at his lodgings left Darnley dead; the intrigue thickened after it was discovered that he had apparently been suffocated before the blast. After an exhaustive reevaluation of the source material, Alison Weir has come up with a solution to this enduring mystery. Employing her gift for vivid characterization and gripping storytelling, Weir has written one of her most engaging excursions yet into Britain’s bloodstained, power-obsessed past.
Alison Weir

About Alison Weir

Alison Weir - Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley
Alison Weir is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth and several historical biographies, including Mistress of the Monarchy, Queen Isabella, Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Life of Elizabeth I, and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. She lives in Surrey, England with her husband and two children.
Praise

Praise

“Conspiracy, treason, perjury, and forgery, along with . . . political assassination, and several deadly sins . . . While Ms. Weir does not stint on the sensational details, she is above all a historian and dogged researcher. She sifts through sources, which were often compromised, and thinks like a forensics expert.”
The Wall Street Journal

“One of the most intriguing murder mysteries in European history . . . No stone is left unturned in Weir’s investigation, and . . . her book is as dramatic as witnessing firsthand the most riveting court case.”
Booklist (boxed and starred review)

“The finest historian of English monarchical succession writing now is Alison Weir. . . . Her assiduousness and informed judgment are precisely what make her a writer to trust.”
The Boston Globe

“Alison Weir has perfected the art of bringing history to life.”
Chicago Tribune
Discussion Questions

Discussion Guides

1. The author describes four views of Queen Mary: the adulteress and murderess, the Catholic martyr, the romantic heroine, and the inept woman with poor judgement. How true is each view? And how much have these images obscured our view of the real Mary? What was the real Mary like?

2. In the author’s view, Mary made two fatal errors that blighted her life. What were these? Would you say that Mary was the victim of circumstance and unscrupulous men, or of her own poor judgement?

3. Who was the most guilty: Elizabeth I for keeping Mary prisoner for nineteen years and then having her executed? Or Mary, for seeking aid from Elizabeth, whose crown she coveted, and for ceaselessly plotting her ruin?

4. Some people think it incredible that Mary could not have known of the plot against Darnley, given that so many people were involved. Yet she had certainly not known of a similarly orchestrated plot against Rizzio. Do you think that, after the conference at Craigmillar, she should have realized that Darnley’s life might be in danger?

5. How do you account for Mary’s inertia after Darnley’s murder? Does the author make a convincing case for it being due to a physical and mental breakdown?

6. Did Mary collude in her own rape by Bothwell? What evidence is there that she was forced into marriage with him?

7. Suppose Elizabeth had sent Mary back into Scotland with an English army in 1568 and it proved victorious in winning her back the throne, what do you think the consequences might have been?

8. This question was asked by a reader at an event: Did Darnley have any good points? The author, at a loss for an answer, mentioned his youth and his good looks! Is there anything you think she could have added?

9. Has Mary ever been well-portrayed on screen? How would you rate the performances of Katharine Hepburn (Mary of Scotland, 1936), Vanessa Redgrave (Mary, Queen of Scots, 1971), Vivian Pickles (Elizabeth R, 1971), Clémence Poésy (Gunpowder, Treason and Plot, 2004), Barbara Flynn (Elizabeth I, 2005), and Samantha Morton (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, 2007)?

10. Having read the book, do you agree with the author’s conclusions?


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