Mary was imprisoned in castles for 18 years and executed by her cousin, England's Elizabeth I. The story of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) is the stuff of legends and, of course, movies (in one wonderful film, Vanessa Redgrave played Mary to Glenda Jacrekson's Elizabeth).
|Now showing - through the 2014 season, Reign, CW cable tv series on Mary's early years in France.|
Mary ascended to the throne of Scotland at age six, wedded a French king and after he died returned home to marry Lord Danley, who was murdered. She then married the 4th Earl of Bothwell, who might have murdered her husband. When her year-old son became king and she failed to regain the throne, she fled to Elizabeth and England for protection. As the plots and rumors abounded she was eventually imprisoned. Did Mary (a Catholic) plot to take the throne from Elizabeth (Church of England)? Who can say?
Rosalind Marshall, acknowledged Mary expert, weaves her narrative about Mary as a sovereign and as a woman with objects from an exhibition that ran at the National Museums Scotland. Here are her jewels, textiles, furniture, documents and portraits. The surviving relics intimately connected with this queen and the Renaissance period have been gathered from public and private collections.
Dr Rosalind K. Marshall, an historian and prolific writer specializing in 16th- and 17th-century Scottish history, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.