Thursday, 3 February 2011

ELIZABETH I AND MARY STUART: The Perils of Marriage Book Review


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Title: ELIZABETH I AND MARY STUART: The Perils of Marriage
Author: ANKA MUHLSTEIN
The French biographer of the 'Three Temporary Queens' here turns her attention in a new major double biography, now translated, to the turbulent relationship between Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Quite uniquely, both thrones of the British Isles were occupied by women at this time, which for the first time brought the issue of royal consorts to the fore. In the 16th century, marriage was a necessity - no marriage, no dynasty. But Elizabeth was one of few queens regnant who made the conscious choice never to marry and therefore never subordinated herself and her power to a male consort. At the same time she used the possibility of marriage as a tool to manipulate the balance of power in Europe. In contrast, her cousin Mary is seen as a slave to passion, whose marriages cost her her throne and ultimately her life. One of the most fascinating stories in British history, here is a double biography of these clever and courageous women who fought foreign wars, faced domestic plots, assassination and espionage. In the end it was the manner with which they dealt with vital dynastic question of marriage that ultimately served to shape their destinies and historical reputations. 'The poor, demented woman will not cease until they cut off her head. That will come to pass...I see no remedy for it.' - Charles IX of France on Mary Stuart. Beautifully produced 408 page hardback.
Published Price: £18.00
BIBLIOPHILE PRICE: £7

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