Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

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9780006531920: Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives, and marked the intersection of the great Tudor and Stuart dynasties, a landmark event in British history.

Distinguished biographer Jane Dunn reveals an extraordinary story of two queens ruling in one isle, both embodying opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness and of divinely ordained kingship. Theirs is a drama of sex and power, recklessness, ambition and political intrigue, with a rivalry that could only be resolved by death.

As regent queens in an overwhelmingly masculine world, they were deplored for their femininity, compared unfavourably with each other, and courted by the same men. By placing this dynamic and ever-changing relationship at the centre of the book, Dunn throws new light and meaning on the complexity of their natures. She reveals an Elizabeth revolutionary in her insistence on ruling alone, while Mary is not the romantic victim of history, but a courageous adventurer with a reckless heart. Vengeful against her enemies and the more ruthless of the two, she was untroubled by plotting Elizabeth’s murder. Elizabeth, however, was in anguish at having to sanction Mary’s death warrant for treason.

Working almost exclusively from contemporary letters and writings, she lets them speak to us across more than four hundred years, their voices and responses surprisingly familiar to our own, their characters vivid, by turns touching and terrible.

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Review:

Jane Dunn's double biography Elizabeth and Mary takes as its rich and explosive subject matter the ultimately fatal relationship between Queen Elizabeth I of England and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. Throughout much of the second half of the 16th century, these two women found themselves queens of their kingdoms and locked in a battle for possession of the British Isles, which only ended with Mary's eventual downfall and execution at Elizabeth's hands in 1586.

As Dunn points out in her meticulous and compelling recreation of the complex relationship between the two women, "from that one act of regicide, a queen killing a fellow queen, has spun a mythology of justification, romance, accusation, and blame that retains its force right to the present day." Her approach attempts to avoid myth and romance and understand the complex bond that existed between the two women. Elizabeth, the apparent victor, "was haunted by a deep-rooted insecurity as to her own legitimacy", while Mary was pursued by claims of sexual excess and immersion in murderous plots against husbands and enemies, variously seen as "a wronged Madonna or a murderous jezebel."

Dunn elegantly follows the ups and downs of both monarchs as they strive for political power. Mary's tumultuous reign as Queen of Scotland is particularly well handled, as is Elizabeth's agonised vacillation over her decision to execute Mary. In the end, death triumphed over both, and ensured that each was "elevated to an idealised majesty" for very different reasons. Dunn has marshalled an impressive body of evidence that never overwhelms this psychologically nuanced account of these two remarkable women. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

‘Outstanding, perceptive and delightfully readable.’ Sunday Times Books of the Year

‘A deeply satisfying study of royal rivalry which ended in tragedy…Jane Dunn handles her subject with tremendous flair. Supremely accomplished.’ Anne Somerset, Literary Review

‘She writes with vigour and grace. This is an engaging and thoughtful new rendering of a story worth retelling.’ Spectator

‘Jane Dunn has written a splendid piece of popular history with the ready-pen of a highly skilled writer, endowed with remarkable insight.’ Roy Strong, Daily Mail

‘Dunn writes with captivating elegance and piercing intelligence, is tender, scrupulous, ironic and worldly.’ Richard Davenport-Hines, Independent

‘Jane Dunn is one of our best biographers.’ Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times

‘Jane Dunn has that sine qua non of the true biographer, an eye for significant detail and the power to fit it into a larger pattern.’ Richard Holmes, The Times

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 210 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives, and marked the intersection of the great Tudor and Stuart dynasties, a landmark event in British history. Distinguished biographer Jane Dunn reveals an extraordinary story of two queens ruling in one isle, both embodying opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness and of divinely ordained kingship. Theirs is a drama of sex and power, recklessness, ambition and political intrigue, with a rivalry that could only be resolved by death. As regent queens in an overwhelmingly masculine world, they were deplored for their femininity, compared unfavourably with each other, and courted by the same men. By placing this dynamic and ever-changing relationship at the centre of the book, Dunn throws new light and meaning on the complexity of their natures. She reveals an Elizabeth revolutionary in her insistence on ruling alone, while Mary is not the romantic victim of history, but a courageous adventurer with a reckless heart. Vengeful against her enemies and the more ruthless of the two, she was untroubled by plotting Elizabeth s murder. Elizabeth, however, was in anguish at having to sanction Mary s death warrant for treason. Working almost exclusively from contemporary letters and writings, she lets them speak to us across more than four hundred years, their voices and responses surprisingly familiar to our own, their characters vivid, by turns touching and terrible. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006531920

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 210 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives, and marked the intersection of the great Tudor and Stuart dynasties, a landmark event in British history. Distinguished biographer Jane Dunn reveals an extraordinary story of two queens ruling in one isle, both embodying opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness and of divinely ordained kingship. Theirs is a drama of sex and power, recklessness, ambition and political intrigue, with a rivalry that could only be resolved by death. As regent queens in an overwhelmingly masculine world, they were deplored for their femininity, compared unfavourably with each other, and courted by the same men. By placing this dynamic and ever-changing relationship at the centre of the book, Dunn throws new light and meaning on the complexity of their natures. She reveals an Elizabeth revolutionary in her insistence on ruling alone, while Mary is not the romantic victim of history, but a courageous adventurer with a reckless heart. Vengeful against her enemies and the more ruthless of the two, she was untroubled by plotting Elizabeth s murder. Elizabeth, however, was in anguish at having to sanction Mary s death warrant for treason. Working almost exclusively from contemporary letters and writings, she lets them speak to us across more than four hundred years, their voices and responses surprisingly familiar to our own, their characters vivid, by turns touching and terrible. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006531920

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, Jane Dunn, This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives, and marked the intersection of the great Tudor and Stuart dynasties, a landmark event in British history. Distinguished biographer Jane Dunn reveals an extraordinary story of two queens ruling in one isle, both embodying opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness and of divinely ordained kingship. Theirs is a drama of sex and power, recklessness, ambition and political intrigue, with a rivalry that could only be resolved by death. As regent queens in an overwhelmingly masculine world, they were deplored for their femininity, compared unfavourably with each other, and courted by the same men. By placing this dynamic and ever-changing relationship at the centre of the book, Dunn throws new light and meaning on the complexity of their natures. She reveals an Elizabeth revolutionary in her insistence on ruling alone, while Mary is not the romantic victim of history, but a courageous adventurer with a reckless heart. Vengeful against her enemies and the more ruthless of the two, she was untroubled by plotting Elizabeth's murder. Elizabeth, however, was in anguish at having to sanction Mary's death warrant for treason. Working almost exclusively from contemporary letters and writings, she lets them speak to us across more than four hundred years, their voices and responses surprisingly familiar to our own, their characters vivid, by turns touching and terrible. Bookseller Inventory # B9780006531920

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives, and marked the intersection of the great Tudor and Stuart dynasties, a landmark event in British history. Distinguished biographer Jane Dunn reveals a. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780006531920_rkm

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Book Description 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 197mm x 46mm. Paperback. This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives and marked the intersection of the grea.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 592 pages. 0.430. Bookseller Inventory # 9780006531920

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Book Description Harperperennial, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. This is the first biography of the fateful relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It was the defining relationship of their lives, and marked the intersection of the great Tudor and Stuart dynasties, a landmark event in British history. Num Pages: 592 pages, (3 x 8pp colour sections.). BIC Classification: 1DBK; BGH; BGR; HBJD1; HBLC; HBLH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 46. Weight in Grams: 434. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780006531920

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