Mary Queen of Scots

The True Life of Mary Stuart
By: John Guy
Narrated by: Lucy Rayner
Length: 25 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the first full-scale biography of Mary Stuart in more than 30 years, John Guy creates an intimate and absorbing portrait of one of history's most famous women, depicting her world and her place in the sweep of history with stunning immediacy. Bringing together all surviving documents and uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time, Guy dispels the popular image of Mary Queen of Scots as a romantic leading lady - achieving her ends through feminine wiles - and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I.

Through Guy's pioneering research and superb prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. Mary Queen of Scots is an enthralling, myth-shattering look at a complex woman and ruler and her time.

©2004 John Guy (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"As enthralling as a detective story." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I just keep falling asleep

the story is pretty good but every time I turn it on I fall asleep. Wish the narrator wasn't so soft spoken for such commanding content.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very enjoyable

This was a great book! The narrator was excellent, and has a pleasant voice. Very informative.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Horrible narration - don’t purchase

It’s impossible to concentrate on the story due to the poor narration. The voice talent, reads the script in a sing song repetitive nature that distracts so much from the text in a way that renders the audible book inaudible.

23 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another Side of the Story

I have read many a book about Mary and thought I knew her story but i was wrong. The research done for this book is tremendous. Very well written and captivating because you want to know what else John Guy turned up. I would have loved to have been a part of the research team.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator killed it. But not in a good way.

I saw other reviewers complain about the narration. They were right. She is just droll. I cant even give a justified review of the content of the book because of the narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Information may be good but narration is not

I could not get passed the first 5 hours. I really wanted to like this book but I cannot continue to listen because of the way this book is read by the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love it!

I love this book! I am obsessed with Mary Queen of Scots and love how comprehensive this book is. I really appreciate the amount of research that went into writing it. The author provides fact over fiction and, in places where there wasn't enough historical information to relay, he is very clear about it. Rather than simply making something up to fill in the blank spaces, he offers suggestions on what might have occurred and evidence to support was most probably occurred. The storytelling/narrating is well-done and keeps the listener's interest.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Worst narration I’ve EVER heard!

I am still desperately trying to finish this book but it is so difficult because the narrator’s performance is the worst I have ever heard. It’s delivered in a predictable sing song pattern that is so distracting that I can’t keep up with the story. I hope the same book comes out with a different narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Odd approach to May, Queen of Scots

I realize that this was a difficult to write book. My personal favorite author of history is Barbra Tuchman. This book did not meet that standard by any means. The narration by this reader had a sing-song feel to it most of the time.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What really went down with Mary...

Really a fantastic book if you’re looking for lots of detail and the real story about the life of Mary Queen of Scots (from beginning to end.) It’s presented in a formal story manner. I wasn’t nuts about the narrator, not that she was annoying or had odd stops and starts but she was so concise or official that I think it contributed to a lack of emotion that the book actually has in its written form but that the narrator wasn’t able to express.

I did not see the movie so I can’t comment on that point. But this is definitely what I would call a, “history book.”

Overall, the book provided excellent information and cleared up a lot of confusion, pervasive myths and assumptions I had about Mary, Elizabeth and surprisingly, the, “honorable” William Cecil.

1 person found this helpful