Tudors Versus Stewarts

Tudors Versus Stewarts

The Fatal Inheritance of Mary, Queen of Scots

Book - 2014
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The war between the fertile Stewarts and the barren Tudors was crucial to the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth century. The legendary struggle, most famously embodied by the relationship between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, was fuelled by three generations of powerful Tudor and Stewart monarchs. It was the marriage of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of Henry VIII, to James IV of Scotland in 1503 that gave the Tudors a claim to the English throne--a claim which became the acknowledged ambition of Mary Queen of Scots and a major factor in her downfall.

Here is the story of divided families, of flamboyant kings and queens, cultured courts and tribal hatreds, blood feuds, rape and sexual license, of battles and violent deaths. It brings alive a neglected aspect of British history--the blood-spattered steps of two small countries on the northern fringes of Europe towards the union of their crowns. Beginning with the dramatic victories of two usurpers, Henry VII in England and James IV in Scotland, in the late fifteenth century, Linda Porter's Tudors Versus Stewarts sheds new light on Henry VIII, his daughter Elizabeth I and on his great-niece, Mary Queen of Scots, still seductive more than 400 years after her death.

Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780312590741
Characteristics: xi, 523 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Nov 01, 2016

Based on the title, the book is ostensibly about Mary, Queen of Scots. Yet, it is much more than that. The opening chapter begins in 1485 with the battle that put Mary’s Great-Grandfather, Henry VII on the throne of England. Mary is not born for some 57 years and 300 pages later. While the book culminates with the life of Mary Stewart, the narrative is much more focused on the amazing events leading up to her sad reign and eventual execution.
A fascinating book which reads much like a novel, I found it wonderfully entertaining as well as educational. However, I found it difficult to keep track of the multitude of characters spanning generations because so many had the same names (Henry, James, Mary, Elizabeth, etc). To further complicate this, a great many of the figures had titles, and the author would sometimes refer to these nobles by their names and other times only by their titles.


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