Friday, July 2, 2010

Mary Well Drawn

Mary, Queen of Scots - part damsel in distress, part slighted monarch, completely the prisoner who thinks deeply of escape. A sad business, the list of castle-prisons doleful and dreary, a journey from one place to another place, jailor to jailor, slowly and unfailingly towards the violent end that, by any road, couldn't be put off any longer. Alongside this slide sits an endangered and fretful Queen Elizabeth.

A Tudor/Stuart tragedy. And, as portrayed in Jean Plaidy's "The Captive Queen of Scots", so so sad. Elizabeth and Mary - bifurcated womanhood? Head and heart? A queen with a realm placed on her at a very young age vs. a queen who started as a princess with no definite future. A meeting between these two would have thematically logistically been impossible. The story would have run quite differently, methinks.

Mary is no solitary prisoner, she enjoys the continual devotion of servants and young idealistic would be rescuers. Plaidy draws them artfully, as well as she does the jailors. The sub plot of the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwick) is of interest as I am completely new to this pair.

At length regicide happened. But, though not Queen of England, our Mary, she may be considered the mother of the Stuart dynasty to rule for a few generations.

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