Bittersweet within My Heart: The Collected Poems of Mary, Queen of Scots (The Royal poetry collections)

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9781851459100: Bittersweet within My Heart: The Collected Poems of Mary, Queen of Scots (The Royal poetry collections)
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The poems of Mary, Queen of Scots are about love, the love of men and the love of God. They reveal a woman who was both deeply serious and intensely passionate, who used poetry as a means of working out the constant moral dilemmas that confronted her as a female head of state in a violent and unstable Europe. At times of crisis, Mary turned to poetry as her only release. Her poems candidly confront her extremes of emotion, suddenly changing from tranquil religious meditation to sexual passion and jealousy. When she was less than a week old, Mary inherited the crown of Scotland and had a claim by birthright to the throne of England. She grew up at the dazzling court of France where the great poets Pierre de Ronsard and Joachim du Bellay took a personal interest in her formative years. At the age of 16 she was Queen of France, wife of King Francis II. Everything seemed to be in her favour, but by the age of 24 she had lost three husbands and was to remain a prisoner for 20 years until she was executed. Mary, Queen of Scots wrote mainly in the elegant courtly French she had learned as a child. Her poems have been collected and translated by the Scottish poet and critic Robin Bell. He has also added commentary which provides historical background to allow Mary to speak for herself.

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