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Publisher's Summary

An exhaustively researched novel weaves both historical fact and plausible fiction in bringing the story of Mary Queen of Scots to life.
©1992 Margaret George (P)1998 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"An evocative portrait." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The best kind of historical novel, one the reader can't wait to get lost in." (San Francisco Chronicle
"George has creative a lively, gallant Mary of intelligence, charm and terrible judgment....A popular, readable, inordinately moving tribute to a remarkable queen." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    338
  • 4 Stars
    145
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    17
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    16
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    91
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    36
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    270
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    10
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    11

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well written, well read

As with all of Margaret George's books, this is an entertaining, mostly accurate historical accounting of an interesting life. George manages to portray several different facets of the Queen's personality, a willful, foolish girl, a haughty self-centered woman, a not very skilled tactician and a woman who is a victim of the times. By the end of the book I was fed up with Mary's careless disregard for the lives of her subjects and wasn't overly saddened by her fate. I believe that history has shown Mary to be far more devious than this book lets on, but it is after all, fiction. This is a lengthy book well worth the time invested in listening. The narration is excellent.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Historical Accuracy

I was happy to hear, in the Author notes at the end, that of the over 200 names mentioned only 2 were fabricated. A true historical fiction which humanizes history. Thank you.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My Favorite Audible Book yet

What made the experience of listening to Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles the most enjoyable?

Margaret George wrote an amazing depiction of Queen Mary's life and Donada Peter's led me on that journey with an amazing performance.

What about Donada Peters’s performance did you like?

Donada Peters took me back to Queen Mary's life. I felt like I was there. Amazing performance. I'll seek out book that she has performed.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved It!

Great character development and great narration. If you love history and have spent any time reading about Mary Stuart you will enjoy this book. I definately recommend it.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Long... too long

I love a long audio book, but I had to force myself to continue this. Mary did not come across as proud and strong, rather petulant and whiney. Her imprisonment became my imprisonment, and I began to long for the day the book would come to an end.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenally written book and narration!

What made the experience of listening to Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles the most enjoyable?

The narrator "acted" out the whole novel. I could not believe how talented she was to have given each character a different voice, and personality. The accents were delightful to listen to, without being too thick to understand. The book itself was very well written and I was shocked to learn so much about history just in one book about a single woman. This is, by far the BEST audible book I have had the pleasure of listening to. Definitely, a must buy!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mary, she was a strong, sweet and caring woman. Piously Catholic, even to her end.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

What on earth motivated this woman?

Endless saga (which everyone already knows ended badly for Mary) told with little insight into character motivation.I will sum up this book: it demonstrates wonderfully what a wasteful and unintelligent form of government monarchy proved to be over and over.I was hoping for a human and understandable psychological portrait of Mary, a read that would help me decide if she was a smart girl who made foolish choices driven by her awe inspiring bad taste in men, or if she was a daring Royal driven with an inner need to rule absolutely who had abysmal ill fortune, or something else. Instead, I stopped reading the book when she took refuge in England because it was all too familiar to me what the remainder of the book would deal with. This is NOT the book to struggle through if you want a comprehensive and comprehensible portrait of Mary.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Oh What A Treasure!

This is a 'Must listen to/read' from Margaret George. Having just finished another of her fine novels 'The Biography of Henry VIII' I just could not imagine a second novel being as good. I am so happy to say that I was wrong.

Although Ms. George's volumes are categorized as 'novels' as a historian I can assure you that they are 99% accurate as far as I can see. Well I was not there although my daughter thinks that I was!

Treat yourself to this treasure. I am British and am well submerged in the history of Scottish heartbreak. You will not be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

MARGARET GEORGE NEVER FAILS TO DELIVER!

Where does Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

That's hard to say based on the sheer column of books that I've read. But I'd have to put it in the top 20%.

What did you like best about this story?

Ms. George not only provides the reader with a well- written account of her primary subject matter, but she includes a plethora of historical information on the era's people, lifestyles, clothing, architecture, customs and mores. Also Donata Peters, an outstanding narrator, was the perfect match for this audiobook.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Being a book based on fact, I pretty much knew the "back story" already so there was not much to shock me.

Any additional comments?

All books by Margaret George are such masterpieces that I make sure I buy both the audio AND hard copy versions.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Too Much Information

Exhaustive is the key word here. This is my first Margaret George book and I mostly enjoyed it but I could have done with a little less detail as I started to lose interest in places. But, will try another of hers in the future.

24 people found this helpful