Kate Williams – The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots

From New York Times best-selling author of Becoming Queen Victoria, a new history of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I that reveals how the most important relationship of their life – their friendship – changed them forever.

Elizabeth and Mary were cousins and queens, but eventually it became impossible for them to live together in the same world. This is the story of two women struggling for supremacy in a man’s world, when no one thought a woman could govern. They both had to negotiate with men – those who wanted their power and those who wanted their bodies – who were determined to best them.

In their worlds, female friendship and alliances were unheard of, but for many years theirs was the only friendship that endured. They were as fascinated by each other as lovers; until they became enemies. Enemies so angry and broken that one of them had to die, and so Elizabeth ordered the execution of Mary.

But first, they were each other’s lone female friends in a violent man’s world. Their relationship was one of love, affection, jealousy, antipathy – and finally death.

2018 Kate Williams (P)2018 Tantor

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Author: Kate Williams
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Duration: 14 hours 22 minutes
Released: 18 Dec 2011
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Language: English

User Review:

satisfaction inspired

I enjoyed this book very much, but I think it adds to the narrative of Mary being so innocent. Anything that she did wrongly was portrayed as a silly mistake, or that she had no choice. She is a bit one dimensional rather than being fleshed out as a human with flaws other than bad judgement. Even her plotting to have Elizabeth I assassinated was no doubt done out of desperation because of how much she, Mary, had suffered, it was still an act of treason warranting execution.

I think Mary’s life is fascinating and it is truly sad how much she was used and suffered for it. I would just like for her to be held accountable for some her actions.

I have listened to many books about the Tudor dynasty. When I first heard the narrator it was slightly jarring in comparison to the softer narration of the women performing these other works. after some time the narrator grew on me.

The other Tudor dynasty books can be so full of periphery people, dates, amounts of money, and repetition of facts that it can become tedious. Although I love the books written by Alison Weir I do tend to slip in and out from time to time. However, The Betrayal of Mary was very clear and not laden with the recitation of minute details that are not as crucial. Dates, money, and people are relevant and not over done.

Overall I would recommend this title to others. It is a good introductory read for someone new to the history of Tudor times, while also being an entertaining read for those that have been learning for some time.