Mary Queen of Scots is one of history’s most famous monarchs. A sovereign almost from birth, her life has been subject to intense scrutiny. So too have her relationships, from those she shared with her three husbands to that with the sixteenth-century’s other famous queen, her cousin Elizabeth.
There remains, however, a relationship that has been little explored: that between the Scottish queen and her base-born brother, James Stewart, the earl of Moray. Theirs is a drama of suspicion, political intrigue, religion, and entitlement. It is the story of siblings torn apart by their own desires, their relationship tested to breaking point by the greed and influence of others.
Born into a masculine world of majesty and power, it was up to Mary and James Stewart to forge a partnership in which the sister wore the crown and her brother held the reins.
United, they presented the Stewart dynasty as an equal to that of their Tudor cousins.
Divided, they fell into war, rivalry, hatred, and imprisonment.
Drawing on letters, state papers, and the wealth of conflicting scholarly studies of Mary Queen of Scots, Steven Veerapen uncovers a world of intrigue, secrecy, and ruthless ambition. In doing so he reveals the true natures of Mary and James Stewart. She is a shrewd, politically-astute queen regnant who ruled from the head but was beset by physical and mental illness; he was a cautious, religious convert who sought power but feared responsibility.
The story of Mary Queen of Scots remains as enigmatic and beguiling as ever. By looking at the most significant relationship in her life, Blood Feud provides an exhilarating new perspective on the woman behind the icon.