– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Queen’s Spy’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Growing up in Surrey, Clare always dreamed of being a writer. Instead, she followed a career in IT, before moving to Norfolk for a quieter life and re-training as a jeweller.
Now writing full time, she lives with her husband and the youngest two of her six children. Weekends are spent exploring local castles and monastic ruins, or visiting the nearby coast.
Book Title: The Queen’s Spy
Author: Clare Marchant
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
Page Length: 400 Pages
Genre: Historical Dual Timeline
1584: Elizabeth I rules England. But a dangerous plot is brewing in court, and Mary Queen of Scots will stop at nothing to take her cousin’s throne.
There’s only one thing standing in her way: Tom, the queen’s trusted apothecary, who makes the perfect silent spy…
2021: Travelling the globe in her campervan, Mathilde has never belonged anywhere. So when she receives news of an inheritance, she is shocked to discover she has a family in England.
Just like Mathilde, the medieval hall she inherits conceals secrets, and she quickly makes a haunting discovery. Can she unravel the truth about what happened there all those years ago? And will she finally find a place to call home?
Guest Post :
Elizabeth 1st and Mary Queen of Scots
Elizabeth and Mary, cousins who never met. One of whom was kept captive by the other for nineteen years. Today, that seems almost impossible to comprehend and yet in the dangerous Tudor times when a monarch’s throne was not remotely stable, Elizabeth 1st had good reason to keep Mary Stuart incarcerated.
To understand this family rift, we have to look back to Elizabeth’s father, the infamous Henry VIII and his older sister, Margaret Tudor. Margaret had married into the Catholic Scottish monarchy and her son King James V then had a daughter, later Mary Queen of Scots. A contender for the English throne.
Henry VIII was desperate for a son to whom he could pass on his crown and secure the Tudor dynasty. When his wife Catherine of Aragon was unable to provide him with one (as well as her daughter Queen Mary she also had babies who were either stillborn or who only lived a short while) he looked to one of her ladies, Anne Boleyn as a new wife. However, the Catholic church forbade divorce and when a special dispensation to the Pope also proved fruitless, the King took the momentous decision to leave the Holy Roman Empire and make himself the head of the church in England. The country became Protestant, the monasteries were dissolved and the King helped himself to their riches.
Now head of the church and divorced, Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn and they subsequently had a daughter, Elizabeth 1st. However, the Catholics did not recognise this child as being legitimate and this then lay as the central argument in their fight to remove her and put Mary Queen of Scots (an ardent Catholic) on the throne. In order to keep her crown safe and advised by her statesmen, Elizabeth had no choice but to keep Mary imprisoned at various stately homes across England, whilst Catholic sympathisers on both sides of the Channel did their best to free her.
There were many plots to try and oust Elizabeth, and to foil them she relied on her spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham and his large number of spies located all across Europe. Sometimes he was able to stop the plots before they had barely started, whilst others like the Throckmorton plot and the Babington plot (an integral part of The Queen’s Spy story line) became much more of a threat to the Queen.
To be honest, I find myself with sympathies for both Queens. Was Elizabeth the true Queen? or should the throne have gone to Queen Mary who was also of Tudor bloodline? In my opinion it comes back to whether Henry VIII had acted correctly in cutting England away from Rome in his quest for a divorce and ultimately, a son. In our day and age it is all too easy to consider things from a twenty-first century viewpoint, where we accept divorce as part and parcel of life, but in the sixteenth century it was very rare that a marriage could be finished other than by a spouse’s death (which Henry VIII also used to his advantage when needed!). I do believe that Elizabeth had no option but to keep Mary imprisoned given the many supporters she had who believed that she should be Queen of England as well as Scotland. And although Elizabeth did not want to execute her cousin eventually even she could see the threat would never go away when there was someone with a strong claim on her throne. How different England may have been if Mary and her supporters had achieved their goal!
The Magic of Wor(l)ds