I have been reading novels about Mary Queen of Scots, along with reading biographies and other studious books on her life. Over the last year, I have read four major novels and a few minor novels. The major novels are “Immortal Queen” by Elizabeth Byrd, “Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles” by Margaret George, “Royal Road to Fotheringhay” and “The Captive Queen of Scots” by Jean Plaidy, and “The Other Queen” by Philippa Gregory. The minor novels are “The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots” by Carrolly Ericson and “The White Queen,” by “Frederic Fallon. There are more novels about Mary; some young adult — but I haven’t read them yet.
Straight up, I am going to say that out of all these novels, “Immortal Queen” is the best of the lot. It has the best Mary. Not a perfect Mary but not the silly, stupid Mary of the Jean Plaidy novels. Margaret George’s Mary is wonderful, but like all her novels, there is too much of everyone and everything else. We hear Mary’s voice most wonderfully in Philippa Gregory’s wonderful novel, but is it really her?
Over the next few posts, I will look at these novels more closely and compare them to one another. I hope you will find this as interesting as I do.