Scourge of Henry VIII The Life of Marie de Guise by Melanie Clegg

 Marie de Guise has been given a 'bad wrap' by many historical novels and films, especially Elizabeth, in which she appeared almost evil! This book thankfully restores her reputation. It also reads like a novel. Many of these royal biographies are inclined to be dry, but this one always remains interesting, and kept me looking forward to the next part of the story. Melanie Clegg paints a vivid picture of Marie's life, and the dramas of the sixteenth century. 

Marie was a charming, likeable and caring person who was forced to deal with several tragedies and dramas. She had to cope with her husband James V's black moods, English attacks, the deaths of some of her children and separation from others, fighting with volatile Scottish lords - the list goes on and on. The 'rough wooing' of her daughter by Henry VIII, who was anxious to marry Marie's more famous daughter Mary, Queen of Scots to his son required particular skills. Marie almost always coped admirably, hardly ever making mistakes.

Marie's activities as Queen Regent especially impressed me. She oversaw many laws designed to set Scotland, weakened by numerous battles, back on its feet, for example, imposing harsh penalties on poachers and forbidding the export of meat to ensure supplies. She was also upset about the loss of trees which had been cut down to provide wood for the navy, so she gave orders to protect them.

This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of royalty.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.



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