Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots : And the Murder of Lord Darnley

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On the night of 10 February 1567, an explosion devastated the Edinburgh residence of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. The noise was heard as far away as Holyrood Palace, where Queen Mary was attending a wedding masque. Those arriving at the scene of devastation found, in the garden, the naked corpses of Darnley and his valet. Neither had died in the explosion, but both bodies bore marks of strangulation.It was clear that they had been murdered and the house destroyed in an attempt to obliterate the evidence. Darnley was not a popular king-consort, but he was regarded by many as having a valid claim to the English throne. For this reason Elizabeth I had opposed his family's longstanding wish to marry him to Mary Stuart, who herself claimed to be the rightful queen of England. Alison Weir's investigation of Darnley's murder is set against one of the most dramatic periods in British history. Her conclusions will shed a brilliant new light on the actions and motives of the conspirators and, in particular, the extent of Mary's own involvement.

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  • Paperback | 640 pages
  • 124 x 198 x 42mm | 439.98g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 16pp b/w and colour plates
  • 0099527073
  • 9780099527077
  • 83,241

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"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"

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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.

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About Alison Weir

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her non-fiction books include The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots, Katherine Swynford and Elizabeth of York. Her novels include Innocent Traitor, The Lady Elizabeth and A Dangerous Inheritance.

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