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Mary Queen of Scots  By  cover art

Mary Queen of Scots

By: Antonia Fraser
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
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Publisher's Summary

She was the quintessential queen: statuesque, regal, dazzlingly beautiful. Her royal birth gave her claim to the thrones of two nations; her marriage to the young French dauphin promised to place a third glorious crown on her noble head. Instead, Mary Stuart became the victim of her own impulsive heart, scandalizing her world with a foolish passion that would lead to abduction, rape, and even murder. Betrayed by those she most trusted, she would be lured into a deadly game of power, only to lose to her envious and unforgiving cousin, Elizabeth I.

Here is her story, a queen who lost a throne for love, a monarch pampered and adored even as she was led to her beheading, the unforgettable woman who became a legend for all time.

©1969 Antonia Fraser (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Mary Queen of Scots

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Shockingly disingenuous.

Presents only extremely limited contemporaneous writings in order to give a disingenuous perspective exonerating Mary of every single motivation and action both before and after the murder of her husband Darnley. Untrustworthy in the extreme. I was hoping to get an intimate window into what exactly may have led Mary to her portion of culpability. Instead, Mary is treated as a wide-eyed, helpless ingénue with no one to advise her, despite the fact that EVERYONE from Elizabeth to Catherine de Medici to the influential French bishops to the pope himself ALL instructed Mary repeatedly in stern or beseeching letters that she must try Bothwell and then put her husband's killer far from her, and then, failing this, ALL then warning her not to marry the murderer of her husband. Not one of these correspondents' letters are even mentioned. Mary isn't innocent; she loved Bothwell obsessively and with a blind madness, refusing to divorce him even with her kingdom and her life both at stake. It is inexplicable that almost five hundred years (and basic common knowledge) later, Antonia Fraser is determined to portray her thusly. All writings, records, and circumstances to the contrary are just completely ignored. A falsified biography, not merely mistaken, lazy, biased, or incomplete. Beyond disappointing.

Narrator gratingly nasal and cannot correctly pronounce "Riccio" or "Medici" or indeed any other non-Anglocized name.

Jane Dunn's "Elizabeth and Mary" gives a far more realistic, balanced, deftly nuanced portrait, presenting all possibilities both pro and con, without stretching credibility to the breaking point.

18 people found this helpful

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Not an easy read

First section on Mary's early life through her departure from Scotland was interesting enough. Unfortunately, the middle section of her generation in captivity under her cousin Elizabeth was rather a dull slog. The final section on the plots in which she was said to have been involved, the extent of which is fairly ambiguous, made the book rally a bit to coast to the end. My verdict is that her sub-optimal decisions in Scotland laid the foundation for the English tragedy. Audio narrator did a good job with material she had to work with.

3 people found this helpful

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Good History, Good Narration, Good

There isn't anything about this book that particularly stood out among its many fellows, but it was another good one. The narration was good, nothing to really note except that there was something about the narrator speaking French that kind of grated on me. There are many French lines, or quotes (not too long) that frustratingly have no translation after they are read so I am not sure what it even meant.

I would overall say it was just good. Not remarkable. I have read a few books about the Queen of Scots and this didn't reveal any information I hadn't already learned, but I am glad to have listened to it and have it in my library.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining Historical Novel

I’ve just finished “reading” (on audible) Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. Really good book. Entertaining and interesting, not at all tedious, dry or boring. Really helps the reader to understand where Mary was coming from and her frame of mind throughout the various periods and traumatic experiences in her life. I have a greater appreciation for her, what she went through and how she composed herself. She left quite a legacy! Thumbs up! 👍🏻

2 people found this helpful

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Wow!

I was a French major in college and Mary Queen of Scots always interested me. I was so happy to learn much more about her in depth. This book was amazing and I am personally offended by her execution because I feel like I know her so well now. I love the show Reign and it was cool to see that it actually was a little bit accurate while I knew a lot of that show wasn't. I guess a Mary Queen of Scots movie is coming out in december and I am happy I read this before it comes out. I can't wait to see how it is. The narration was great by the way.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Historical Biography

This title is a very detailed account of just a small sliver of European History. You feel transported into the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots. I highly recommend this title!

1 person found this helpful

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Poor Mary

I have read many books on English royalty including every book Alison Weir has written so I have previously heard most of the material in this book, but I must say that the author tells Mary's story in a unique style that kept me very interested. Also the narration really wasn't that bad. It was read in a nice pleasant tone. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a detailed telling of Mary Stuart's life and legacy.