From New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir comes the first biography of Mary Douglas, the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII of England who used her sharp intelligence and covert power to influence the succession after the death of Elizabeth I.
Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin, and grandmother of monarchs. Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was an important figure in Tudor England, yet today, while her contemporaries - Anne Boleyn; Mary, Queen of Scots; Elizabeth I - have achieved celebrity status, she is largely forgotten. Margaret's life was steeped in intrigue, drama, and tragedy - from her auspicious birth in 1530 to her parents' bitter divorce, from her ill-fated love affairs to her appointment as lady-in-waiting for four of Henry's six wives. In an age when women were expected to stay out of the political arena, alluring and tempestuous Margaret helped orchestrate one of the most notorious marriages of the 16th century: that of her son, Lord Darnley, to Mary, Queen of Scots.
Margaret defiantly warred with two queens - Mary, and Elizabeth of England - and was instrumental in securing the Stuart ascension to the throne of England for her grandson, James VI. The life of Margaret Douglas spans five reigns and provides many missing links between the Tudor and Stuart dynasties.
Drawing on decades of research and myriad original sources - including many of Margaret's surviving letters - Alison Weir brings this captivating character out of the shadows and presents a strong, capable woman who operated effectively and fearlessly at the very highest levels of power.
©2015 Alison Weir (P)2016 W. F. Howes
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
I was Interested to learn more about Margaret Douglas - a character from the Tudor Age whom I have read too little about. However, the story drags and the narration is jarring. I really struggled to get through this book and in the end I didn't finish. In fact, I am submitting to audible to get back my credit.
I love the background story of her, well done, typical Alison Weir, I learned a lot. The book started to go downhill FAST when she decided to put in a ton of poems/letters. They obviously speak differently then than we do now, and when read by the narrator start to drone on
Yes, I love Alison Weir and because she is historically accurate it is a joy to listen to
ok, don't be dorky..........i'm not going to answer this question
Unfortunately I stopped listening to this book and it spent too much time reading poetry "possibly" written in response to a situation of the main character which I found dull.
Margaret Douglas was a niece of Henry VIII, born of his sister Margaret Tudor's second marriage to Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus; her first was to James IV, King of Scotland (making her the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots). In the drawn out battles of Tudor succession, Margaret Douglas played a prominent role. As a Catholic, her possible claim to the throne was supported by many of her faith, both at home and abroad, but the fact that she was born in Scotland excluded her. However, her son Henry, Lord Darnley, who was born in England, gave hope to the Catholic cause, particularly after his marriage to his cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.
Weir outlines Margaret Douglas's heritage and the difficult years she had under the reigns of her uncle and, subsequently, her cousins Edward and Elizabeth. (She was, for the short time that Mary reigned, in favor at court.) Her plans for marriage to two men of the Howard family were thwarted, but she finally married Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox, a prominent Scottish nobleman who had pledged allegiance to Henry VIII. Theirs was a long and loving marriage--but not one without its problems, both personal and political. Margaret, who had suffered several miscarriages and the deaths of infant children, never got over the murder of her son, Lord Darnley, in Scotland, and she suffered from being kept from ever seeing her grandson, James, child king of Scotland and later successor to Elizabeth I.
Weir's biography, while interesting, is long, minutely detailed, and somewhat repetitious. Anyone researching the religious and dynastic issues of sixteenth-century England will find her to be a lesser-known but important figure. It is not, however, light reading for the casual Tudor junkie. Still, Margaret's story emphasizes the difficult lives of women in the period, even wealthy women of royal blood.
no - the narration was so terrible, I couldn't get past it to the content.
yes, but not if it's narrated by Maggie Mash
She dropped into drawn out and dramatic endings to sentences. Her voice inflections seems unnatural and inappropriate -
I don't know, I returned the book and didn't finish it.
Didn't love it; didn't even like it. It is an interesting story, but this just dragged on and on with quote after quote and the narrator trying to imitate the voice of the letter writer. Weird.
the story is extremely slow. if you do not like poetry do not listen this book. I only continue to listen to the whole thing because I paid for it. it is a good look at Margaret's life but the reading of all the historical documents just makes it a little too much.
Although the subject is of interest to me, the constant change of voice (a querulous old man?) to indicate extant quotations was too much for me. I couldn't continue the listening experience..
Previous Weir books have degenerated into a list of receipts and poetry quotations at the expense of real insight or even telling us a story. This is a much better effort at keeping a coherent book together,
I'm a real geek about Tudor & Stuart royal history and Margaret Douglas is a fascinating but often overlooked part of that history. She's a big part of the reason for the union between the Scottish and English crowns. I was happy to find a whole book about her. I learned a lot that was really interesting, but the book could have used some editing down. I wasn't wild about the long lists of items she bought or received as gifts and what they cost or the mediocre poetry that might have been written by her or about her. I often caught my mind wandering and had to rewind back.
I thought the narrator had a pleasant voice when she was narrating, but she tried too hard to supply different voices for every different person that was quoted in the book. Some of the voices, especially for the men and the people who weren't native English speakers, sounded pretty rough, like she was trying too hard. This might have been the direction; maybe the narrator was being pushed to make the voices more different than they really had to be in a book like this.
I'm still glad I stuck with this book till the end, but unlike many of the Audible books I own
I will probably never read it a second time.
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