Romance

On Tour with Mary Queen of the Scots: The Forgotten Reign ~ The Legendary Women of World History Book 3 by Laurel A. Rockefeller and Meet the Author

She’s back, with another one of my favorite people from history!

Mary Queen of the Scots: The Forgotten Reign ~ The Legendary Women of World History Book 3 by Laurel A. Rockefeller, is a Historical Fiction Book.

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.

**Available in 6 languages!**

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“Alas my love you do me wrong to cast me off discourteously. For I have loved you oh so long delighting in your company.  Greensleeves was all my joy and oh Greensleeves as my delight.  Greensleeves my heart of gold and all for lady Greensleeves,” sang Queen Mary as she snuggled Prince James tenderly.  Smiling James cooed at his mother, bringing a smile to her face as she rocked him back and forth in her arms.  “You are such a proper prince, you know that!  Yes, you are!  And someday you are going to be king of Scotland and king of England too!  Mummy promises because mummy knows you are a very good boy and will be a very good king!

“You know what James?  I have a secret to tell you!  Did you know I became queen when I was even younger than you!  I lost my father when I was baby too!  But your grandfather King James, he was a good king who died fighting the English.  He was much nicer than your father who was very mean.  You wouldn’t like him.  You are a good boy and will stay good forever, right?”  James yawned.  Sadly, Queen Mary put him back in his cradle to let him rest.

As she left the nursery James Hepburn intercepted her, “Time to go.”

“Go?  Go where?”

“Holyrood Abbey.”

“Why would I go there, least of all with you?”

“To marry me, of course!”

“What makes you think I want to marry you?”

James held out a letter signed by several nobles, “Because your nobles command it.”

“What?”

“I am your chosen consort.  You will proceed with me to Holyrood to be married,” commanded Bothwell.

“And if I do not?”

“Do you think Prince James can defend himself against an armed attack, even here?  As a mother, do you want to risk it?”

“So, this is how it is to be then?  I submit to you in exchange for leaving my son alone?”

“Do you really want to risk losing Prince James in favour of the child you are bearing me? Yes, I know about your pregnancy; your ladies will talk given the right incentive to do so,” hinted Bothwell darkly.

Furious Mary stood still, weighing her choices carefully.  What would happen to Scotland if Prince James was murdered?  Would Scotland itself survive or would it be conquered by England at last?  Loving her country and loving her son even more, Queen Mary felt her hand in this forced, “I will obey.”

About the Author

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 TrekDoctor Who, and Babylon 5.

Laurel proudly supports Health in HarmonyThe Arbor Day Foundation, and other charities working to protect and re-plant forests globally.

Frenemies: Queen Mary’s Most Dangerous Companions

By Laurel A. Rockefeller

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” goes conventional wisdom. We’ve all heard the phrase of course. It’s the sentiment behind the new word “frenemy” – the fusion of friend and enemy. That is, someone who is both your friend and your enemy. Frenemies are common in royal courts of course where back room deals and palace intrigues characterize the reigns of even the most virtuous monarchs, female and male.

As common as these complex relationships have been, few monarchs have faced such extremes in their frenemies as Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland where her most constant male companions were also those most bent on destroying her.  Let’s take a look at her three deadliest.

James Stewart, the Earl of Moray

One of Mary’s half-brothers through James V’s many mistresses, James Stewart was a leading member of the “Lords of the Congregation” in the Scottish Parliament and therefore a key figure in the Protestant Reformation in Scotland.

As a member of Parliament, self-serving nobleman, and Protestant, he tirelessly worked to contain Queen Mary and undermine her ability to govern even while operating as her de facto chief of staff.

As her brother, he helped Mary transition from her role as queen-consort of France to queen sovereign of Scotland and genuinely seemed to care for her well-being as much as any in her court could.

Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley

Queen Mary’s second husband, Henry Stewart was Mary’s cousin through her grandmother Margaret Tudor’s remarriage to Archibald Douglas. Tall, handsome, and sharing Queen Mary’s love of riding, falconry, and hunting, he seemed a suitable match for the lonely and widowed queen.

But Darnley had a dark side.  He was vain (even by standards of the time), arrogant, and prone to drunkenness, traits that made the Scottish people hate him as fiercely as they loved Queen Mary’s generous, kind, and amiable temperament. A particularly violent drunk, Darnley readily beat and terrorized Queen Mary. 

In March, 1566, Darnley’s vanity and jealousy towards Queen Mary’s secretary David Riccio led to murder in Holyrood palace as Darnley stormed the queen’s apartment, seized her person, and forced her to watch Darnley’s men stab Riccio 56 times. Darnley put a pistol to Mary’s pregnant belly, hoping to force her to miscarry their son, while he demanded the crown matrimonial –the right to become king if she died childless.  Mary refused.  Eleven months later Darnley himself was found dead at Kirk o’ Field house in Edinburgh.

John Knox

The fire-brand whose May 1559 sermon set off a bloody rebellion against Queen Mary’s throne while she was still in France, John Knox was the ultimate frenemy for Queen Mary. A staunch misogynist who did not believe women possessed the capacity to rule over men in any capacity and who openly preached against women leaders on all levels of society, Knox was nonetheless one of Queen Mary’s preferred social companions, especially when indulging in hunting, archery, falconry, and other outdoor pursuits. Like the Earl of Moray, his politics and religion clashed with his social sensibilities, perhaps in part because Queen Mary was one of the most charismatic and charming of all royals in Europe.

Mary’s charm could not banish Knox’s paranoia towards both Catholics and women nor persuade him of her benevolent intentions. In the end, he, like the Lords of the Congregation who supported him, rejoiced in Mary’s final downfall and eventual death at English hands.

Court intrigue, murder, and violent revolution swept through Queen Mary’s Scotland during her largely forgotten reign. Yet despite the pressures around her, Mary remained gentle, kind, and a true people’s princess, loved by all – even by some of her most dangerous enemies. Where her cousin Elizabeth Tudor hardened her heart and kept her thoughts to herself, Queen Mary remained open, trusting, and charismatic, untainted by the terrors and sorrows of her life. A grieving widow, a battered wife, a persecuted Catholic, Queen Mary Stuart was so much more than her final years as Queen Elizabeth’s political prisoner.  It is a life worth remembering and worth exploring.  I hope you will take time this summer and learn her story.

“Mary Queen of the Scots, the Forgotten Reign” and its follow-up, “Queen Elizabeth Tudor: Journey to Gloriana” are available in multiple languages at a bookstore near you. See https://bit.ly/2IWJeOB for a complete list of available languages for each volume.

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  • Saltire Bookmark

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