Scottish Queens, 1034-1714

Scottish Queens, 1034-1714

Scottish Queens, 1034-1714

Scottish Queens, 1034-1714

Synopsis

One of the earliest known Scottish queens was none other than the notorious Lady MacBeth. Was she really the wicked woman depicted in Shakespeare's famous play? Was St Margaret a demure and obedient wife? Why did Margaret Logie exercise such an influence over her husband, David II, and have we underestimated James VI's consort, Anne of Denmark, frequently written off as a stupid and wilful woman? These are just a few of the questions addressed by Dr Marshall in her entertaining, scholarly study.

Excerpt

Leaving aside the wives of Duncan I and Lulach, neither of whom was necessarily alive when her husband reigned, there were thirty-one Scottish queens from the accession of Duncan I in 1034 until the death of Queen Anne in 1714. Four were queens in their own right, and the other twenty-seven were consorts. This is obviously a very small, extremely elite group and in theory its members should be much better documented than any other women of the past. in practice, however, they are almost equally elusive. Our knowledge of the wives of kings before the early sixteenth century is fragmentary, and even the later consorts are overshadowed in the records by their husbands. However, when the surviving details of their careers are gathered together, we have not only an entertaining procession of vivid personalities. We may also gain a better understanding of what queenship meant in Scotland.

When Tuckwell Press invited me to write this book, I had to decide how many queens to discuss. Coming up to the present day within the allotted number of words would have meant condensing the earlier chapters to the point where I lost much valuable information. I could have stopped when Anne of Denmark disappeared over the Border in 1603, but I had two reasons for continuing beyond that point. I thought it worth emphasising that exotic consorts such as Henrietta Maria and Catherine of Braganza were Queens of Scots, and I wanted to remind people of the frequently forgotten fact that both Mary of Modena and Queen Anne spent some months in Scotland, albeit before they became respectively Queen Consort and Queen Regnant. I therefore decided that Anne, the last Stewart monarch, was the appropriate subject for my final chapter. Subsequent queens did not come north until Victoria developed her passionate love of the Highlands, after which queens consort and regnant alike had a relationship with Scotland which . . .

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