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This is yet another success for Alison Weir. It is typical of her biographies in that it is well researched, well written, and full of the interesting detail which brings a protagonist to life. The life of Margaret Lennox, the lost Tudor princess, is at least as interesting as the life of any of the more famous Tudors - you would certainly have to go a long way to find anyone who experienced more intrigue, more of the twists and turns of fate, or more disappointments and grief. A lot of what Margaret Tudor wrote is quoted and this adds immediacy and poignancy to her story. Maggie Mash is her usual wonderful self as narrator – really pleasant to listen to, and great with voices, accents, and pronunciation of foreign words. Her readings from the Devonshire Manuscript are an absolute delight - perfect! If you like Alison Weir you’ll enjoy this book.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful
The story of Margaret Douglas is an interesting one, and one I hadn't been aware of before picking up this book. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish it. The narrator has a pleasant enough reading voice, but for some reason she feels the need to turn every quotation- even a single quoted word- into a performance piece. The rhythm of the book is constantly interrupted while the reader pauses, and then launches in to her imitations of various (mostly male) characters. At times it's unintentionally funny, but mostly it's just plain awful.
Narrators certainly have to differentiate the words of the various characters in the books they read for us- but this kind of over the top play-acting is extremely annoying! Please- just read us the book!
Margaret Douglas was a heavyweight political player in both Scotland and England throughout much of the Tudor period. She crops up as an incidental character in many histories of that time but Alison Weir demonstrates that she fully deserves a starring role because she was a central character in many dynastic dramas; she led a life full of incident and romance and better yet she left a mountain of highly personal poems and letters that give us a real insight into her thoughts and personality; the sort of detail that's very rare for powerful Tudor figures.
Margaret was a great beauty with a better claim to the throne than Elizabeth the First who strived her whole life to overcome the obstacle of passionately held Catholic beliefs and Elizabeth's personal enmity to get her offspring onto the Scottish and English thrones. During that time she fell in love three times, was sent to the Tower of London three times, had Mary Queen of Scots as a daughter in Law, ran a network of spies and was a close friend of "Bloody" Mary Tudor. That's by no means the whole story but it gives some sense of the way she took life by the scruff of the neck.
Alison Weir has translated a treasure trove of Margaret's papers into a satisfying and dramatic listen which offers a unique window into both Scottish and English history. Margaret emerges as a rounded, flawed human being but someone with real magnetism.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
So disappointing as other books I've read by Weir were very good. I didn't even finis this book as I felt it was just a list of names and financial transactions. I would guess and say that there is little historical evidence telling us what the life of Margaret Douglas was actually like as this book seems to offer many suggestions and theories.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful