"Burn the murderess!"
So begins Jean Plaidy's The Captive Queen of Scots, the epic tale of the Scottish Queen Mary Stuart, cousin to Queen Elizabeth of England. After her husband, Lord Darnley, is murdered, suspicion falls on Mary and her lover, the Earl of Bothwell. A Catholic in a land of stern Protestants, Mary finds herself in the middle of a revolt, as her bloodthirsty subjects call for her arrest and execution. In disgrace, she flees her Scottish persecutors for England, where she appeals to Queen Elizabeth for mercy, but to no avail. Throughout Mary's long years as the Queen's prisoner, she conceives many bold plans for revenge and escaping to freedom--but the gallows of Fotheringhay Castle loom . . .
Set against royal pageantry, religious strife, and bloody uprising--and filled with conspiracies, passion, heartbreak, and fascinating historical detail--The Captive Queen of Scots is an unforgettable, page-turning tale of the intense rivalry between two powerful women of noble blood.
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November 28, 2006
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Excerpt from The Captive Queen of Scots by Jean Plaidy
In the castle of Lochleven which was built on an island in the middle of the loch an exciting expectancy prevailed.
All through the day, the serving men and maids had been aware that they must prepare for an important visitor, and rumor had seeped through to them that this was none other than the captive Queen. Ears were strained for the sounds of arrival; eyes continually turned to the strip of water which separated the island from the mainland on which could be seen the roofs of the houses of Kinross. She would embark there and the boat was ready, waiting for her.
The castellan of the castle, Sir William Douglas, was uneasy; he did not relish the responsibility which had been given him; he foresaw trouble. Yet it was a commission which he dared not refuse; he should, he supposed, have been grateful because his half-brother, James Stuart, Earl of Moray, would wish him to be the Queen's jailor. Yet he knew that a tense and stormy period lay before him. Wherever Mary Stuart was, there was trouble; it was hardly likely that Lochleven would escape it.
Now he was waiting for her arrival which surely could not long be delayed; and he decided that once more he must impress upon his mother the importance of the task which had been given them; and for this reason he made his way to her apartments.