19 September, 2017


Title: Mary Stuart
Author: Stefan Zweig
Series: -
Genres: Historical
Publisher: Grasset
Release: March 2004
Source:  Paperback
Pages: 406

// Goodreads /

Queen of Scotland and the Isles By Stefan Zweig. Originally published in 1935. Foreword: The clear, the manifest, is self-explanatory but mystery is a spur to creative imagination. Always, therefore, figures and events that are shrouded in mystery demand elucidation and stimulate the ingenuity of the artistic mind Among historical problems that call unceasingly for solution, the tragedy of Mary Stuart ranks as a crucial instance. Surely of all the women who have made their mark in the world, no other has been the theme of so many dramas, novels, biographies, and discussions. Throughout four centuries she has allured poets and tor mented the fancy of men of learning. Still, today, her story has again and again to be retold. Because that which is confused craves for clarity, that which is in darkness strains towards the light. The answers to the riddle of Marys life and character are almost as contradictory as they are manifold.

EXPECTATIONS: Before going into the book I of course knew about the life of Queen Mary Stuart from school, various and numerous documentaries and school. So I went into this to deepen my knowledge about her life.

THE WORLD: The plot in this book takes place before Mary is born, after, during her entire life and after her death. The surroundings is 16th century England and France, also Scotland, and you can totally see how different countries lived in medieval times well renaissance as well, how different everything in the country was.

CHARACTERS:  The book talks basically about Mary Stuart, how she was, what she did, how she basically came to be a Queen and I have to tell you that this woman was not blessed to have an easy life. She basically grew up away from her mother, never knew her father and became a Queen when she was only 6 days old. I mean can you imagine this? Since this is a historical book, I have to say that I really like Mary, even though I think she did made horrible decisions in her life. But let me get into this more deeply. Mary, to my understanding never truly experienced what love meant, so she spend her life searching for it and literally lost her head over it. I don’t really think she understood to her full potential that some of her actions caused people to be hurt and caused her to lose the crown. To me it seems that after she comes back to Scotland, from France, she kind of focuses more on her own life and not the life of her country. She marries a very stupid and arrogant man, she gets into an affair with another very arrogant man and eventually has to run away from her own country and she runs away to Spain or France or where ever but to England, where everyone want her dead! Truly I think she was more of a Queen of Heart that Queen of Mind.

However, I did enjoy reading about her, about how lively and bubbly she was. How well read and educated she was. And it’s so strange to actually realize that a lot of historians are saying that The Tudor dynasty died with Elizabeth but that’s not true actually. Mary was A Tudor, she was Henry VIII’s grand-niece if I’m not mistaken, she was his sister’s granddaughter, so technically her son James I who succeeded Elizabeth was also a Tudor, through his mother’s side. Mind – Blown!!!!

ROMANCE:  This book doesn’t focus on Mary’s love life. We do get to learn about her marriages, her son, her affairs but really romance is not a big part here.

GOOD: The facts were interesting

BAD:  It was longer than it should have been.

OVERALL: I would actually still recommend it for someone if they are interested in Mary Queen of Scots.

What do you think about MARY STUART?



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