This dazzling novel from bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Mary Queen of Scots, trusts Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she flees from rebels in Scotland and then finds herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. The newly married couple welcomes the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into hew own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.
I like a good historical fiction, but this one was only fair. It was interesting and sort of makes me want to learn more about Mary Queen of Scots. However, the way Ms. Gregory writes about her, I find her to be a pain in the arse and an all around not very nice person who uses people... I see her personality in a lot of women to this day who try and get men to do their bidding by batting their eyes at them and playing the part of damsel in distress, and of course then I get annoyed at the insipid way said men will fall all over themselves to help. Bess of Hardwick, however, I think I would probably admire her because she was a woman who understood the importance of a dollar and business and knew which side her bread was buttered on. George Talbot, well he would be a doddering old fool.... But read it to find out for yourself.