Interesting historical "fancy"-as the author says. First Erickson I've read-look forward to more of her "fancies"-as opposed to historically "accurate" fiction(again, quoted from the author.
I actually wouldn't call Mary, the queen of the Scots, as portrayed here "stupid". Headstrong, stubborn and absolutely convinced of her God-given right to rule is more accurate. This conviction of the "divine right of Kings" eventually cost the Stuarts not only the throne of Scotland but of England as well.....
Carolly Erickson isn't going to win any awards for her historical fiction. These are really basic books and it almost feels like she read the Wikipedia page on Mary and then creates some drama and fiction around the basic history. She even admits at the end that she blatently made up certain events, including travel that Mary did within England.
Ok, I get that the point of historical fiction is to have some fiction. But, Erickson is light on the substance and heavy on Mary's love life. This book was more of a light-hearted romance than a well written historical fiction novel.
Erickson isn't a bad writer - she just shouldn't bill herself as a historical fiction writer. Her books are somewhat entertaining and are good for the train. I've noticed recently that a lot of the books I read are "train books," and that maybe some of my readers don't take the El every single day for 2 hours. But, mostly "train books" are those that you pop in your bag, get salad dressing from your lunch on, and don't require a ton of thought after a long day.
Check out my full review at http://abookofadifferentcolor.blogspot.com
The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots is a first person account of the life of Mary Queen of Scots from around the age of fifteen up until her death by the order of her cousin Queen Elizabeth the first of England. The main character Mary in other books has been displayed as a strong rival of Elizabeth who plotted her death, and who was really more vilified in other plot lines that I've read. She had a strong backing in the Catholic movement of the time, who looked at Elizabeth as a "Protestant Whore" and did not believe she was the true heir to the throne of England because the marriage of her Mother Anne Boleyn and Henry the 8th was not considered valid.
This novel portrays Mary as a bit more wishy washy, then I have pictured her, with scenes where her main concern is her wardrobe or how many servants she has. It did however bring out the other side of the story from her point of view, and not just Queen's Elizabeth's who has gained more literary focus. Also this book IS a historical entertainment so many events were added in that most likely DID NOT take place in real life SPOILER such as, Mary having a daughter, bathing at a mineral bath with Queen Elizabeth, and other events. I would recommend this book if you're looking for a fast paced fun read about Mary Queen of Scots...but NOT a strictly historically accurate book about her life.